The Creator of the Fortran Language Has Died

As a computer programmer myself, I feel the need to mention the passing of John W. Backus a few days ago. Backus led the team at IBM which created Fortran (short for The IBM Mathematical Formula Translating System) in the 1950s, the first successful high-level programming language. Much of today’s software industry owes a lot to the work of Backus, who invented notation to define language syntax and the concept of an interpreted programming language.

Backus died at his home in Oregon on Saturday at the age of eighty-two.

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