Dennis Ritchie – Father of C Programming Language

by Ramesh Natarajan on October 14, 2011

Dennis Ritchie 1941 – 2011.

May his soul rest in peace.

Just like many of you, I fell in love with computers only after I stated learning C programming language, which is a gold standard for several other programming languages that came after that. I used to code very intensively in C programming language when I started my career in the IT industry.

While I’ve cleaned-up and given away lot of my technology books, I never gave away “The C programming language” book written by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie that is shown below, which brings me so much pleasant memory and joy by just looking at it. I purchased this book in 1994 and still have it.

Thank you Dennis Ritchie for giving us the C programming language, which has served as a foundation for several key technologies that has changed our lives.

He also played a significant role in the development of UNIX during the early stages.

President Clinton awarded Dennis Ritchie the National Medal of Technology in 1999.

Read this google+ post where Rob Pike (Dennis Ritchie’s former colleague) talks about what Dennis Ritchie has accomplished.


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Moi October 14, 2011 at 3:15 am

Man, I have that same book (though in better shape).
It’s sad to see everyone wining about Jobs’ death.
With Dennis we lost a real pioneer, an a good hearted one.

2 Rakesh UV October 14, 2011 at 3:58 am

Thanks ramesh to put a article on RItche.

3 Madharasan October 14, 2011 at 4:14 am

People who live for their burning passion, always do a great job before they say final bye.

Steve Jobs did it

Dennis Ritchie and many other are in this list of pioneers.

I am proud to be a employee of AT&T , which was the employer for Dennis too…. ( Bell Labs )

4 Scott Vargovich October 14, 2011 at 6:00 am

Thank you so much for posting this. Long live Dennis Ritchie!!!

5 zBit October 14, 2011 at 6:05 am

I’ve the same feeling ’bout this book! It’s great and one of my best favourite…

6 Steve October 14, 2011 at 8:50 am

I learned how to write program first in assembly then in FORTRAN. It was C that won my love and soul completely over to programming. I was a different major in college twenty some years ago. C was a big part that made me to decide to switch major. As the result, I have to study for almost 2yrs extra. Looking back, I never, for one minute, regretted the decision. My love for C is still going strong.
In my heart, the invention of the C programming language to software development is as important as Calculus to Mathematics, or as the theory of Relativity to Physics.
My condolences to Dennis’ friends and family. Today, we have lost a giant.

7 Russell October 14, 2011 at 10:10 am

I also got rid of many older books except my K&R (1978 version) as C has always been my favourite language. Used it back in the early 80s. I think it was when I tried C++ that I decided to give it up and didn’t do any programming for a couple of decades. Last year I dusted my K&R off and wrote an application purely for my enjoyment and it brought back great memories of learning this very clean language.

8 Prakash October 15, 2011 at 12:37 am

Though not a programming profession, i would like to write the small codes for my hobby. But i fully aware UNIX and C only has given a big revolution in computer industry. So without Dennis no other technologies exist.Anyway he will always be living everybody’s heart. Good Bye dmr….

9 mm.ghasemi October 15, 2011 at 9:00 am

Good Bye Dennis

10 Rinku October 16, 2011 at 2:17 am

i realy…………………………………….. like Dennis Ritchie by c language I had learnt assembly language .thanks……………………………………..DMR

11 ediologi October 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm

printf(“Rest in peace!\n”); exit(0);

12 Sarav Preet Sandhu November 1, 2011 at 3:53 am

Dennis Ritchie will always live in this world
He could be regarded as the father of programming
He’ll always live in my heart and he’ll live forever around us, in the form of code in almost evey device we see today and in future…

13 himanshu mehra July 19, 2012 at 8:54 am

c language is very interesting subject

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