Digital Pioneer Backus

John Warner Backus, a name synonymous with the high level programming language of FORTRAN, passed away at his home in Ashland, Oregon a week ago Saturday, he was 82.

Backus led the IBM team, which created FORTRAN in the mid 1950's. The program was created as using a mixture of English words and algebraic notation, commonly used at the time by engineers and scientists in the field. In addition to his work on FORTRAN, Backus also worked in the creation of ALGOL 58 and ALGOL 60, which standardized publishing algorithms.

His accolades stretch across the better half of the 20th century, his work represents the passion of a scientific mind. Due to the efforts of this great mind we are able to live the way we do. John Warner Backus truly was a pioneer of the digital age.

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