John Warnock, co-founder of Adobe Systems and a contributor to the PDF, passes away at the age of 82

 John Warnock, the inventor of the PDF and co-founder of Adobe Systems, has passed away at the age of 82. The Silicon Valley entrepreneur and computer scientist was born in Salt Lake City and later moved to Palo Alto, California, where he worked for Xerox before founding Adobe in 1982. Warnock and colleague Charles Geschke created a company around a rejected idea in 1982, which led to the development of the Portable Document Format (PDF), which transformed the way documents were exchanged.

Warnock was an average student who later flourished in mathematics. He earned an undergraduate in math and doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Utah. After working at IBM, Warnock applied to work at the University of Utah, where he joined a group of cutting-edge researchers working on a Department of Defense-funded precursor to the internet in the 1960s.

In the late 1970s, Warnock moved to Palo Alto, California, to work for Xerox on interactive computer graphics. He met Geschke and went to work developing InterPress, a printing and graphics protocol they believed would be the wave of the future. When Xerox balked, they decided to create their own company. They founded Adobe in 1982 and created PostScript, a program that made small-scale printing feasible for the first time. The company later created the PDF, which allowed people to create electronic versions of documents that could be preserved and sent to other users, who could search and review them.

Adobe took off, and PDF eventually replaced many paper copies in legal, business, and personal communication. Warnock and his wife devoted more time to hobbies such as collecting rare books, many of which he scanned and put online at the time of his death.


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