Xerox PARC founder Jacob E. Goldman dies

Goldman was part of a prolific laboratory that developed computing methods and innovations still used today

Jacob E. Goldman, a founder of the Palo Alto Research Center that developed breakthrough computing innovations such as the graphical user interface and ethernet networks, died on Tuesday. He was 90.

Goldman was recruited from Ford Motor Company to Xerox, where he pushed for a research center that he warned might not bear fruit for as long as 10 years, according to The New York Times, which reported that he died of congestive heart failure.

But in the decade following PARC's founding in 1970, the laboratory created a string of innovations that still resonate in modern computing today, from laser printing to object-oriented programming to the world's first WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) editor.

In 1975, PARC unveiled the graphical user interface with pop-up menus and windows and point-and-click controls. The GUI represented crucial ground work later built upon by companies such as Microsoft and Apple and eventually launched personal computing in the 1980s.

In a paid death notice in The Times, Goldman is described as "a dynamic leader and ardent supporter of innovative technologies."

He retired in Connecticut and became a private investor, according to the book "Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age by Michael Hiltzik.

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Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
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