Dennis Ritchie '63, The Man Behind Your Technology

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Kernighan remembers an instance when both he and Ritchie had to provide photographs of themselves for a PR type of publication that the two had authored a paper for.

“The publishers of this in house propaganda stuff basically sent it back and said there’s something wrong with these photos, would you mind sending them in again and asked if we would mind wearing ties,” Kernighan said.

Kernighan and Ritchie refused to retake their pictures with ties. “They used the tieless pictures,” he said.

Kernighan said that though Ritchie is gone, his colleague’s legacy is everywhere.

“Dennis’s legacy is the stuff that makes it work. The operating system, the Internet, phone system, all of that system is written in C...and that’s Dennis’s legacy.”

—Staff writer Laya Anasu n can be reached at layaanasu@college.harvard.edu. Follow her@layaanasu.

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