Fernando Corbató

Updated: 12/01/2019 by Computer Hope
Fernando Corbato

Name: Fernando (Corby) José Corbató

Born: July 1, 1926, in Oakland, California USA

Death: July 12, 2019 (Age: 93)

Computer-related contributions

  • American computer scientist, notable as a pioneer in the development of C.T.S.S. (Compatible Time-Sharing System).
  • His second project, Multics, was not a commercial success, but led to the development of passwords and Ken Thompson's development of Unix. Multics is considered to have been the model for the design of nearly every significant operating system including Linux which followed.

Significant publications

  • The Compatible Time-Sharing System: A Programmer's Guide (1963).
  • The First Seven Years (1972).
  • On Building Systems That Will Fail (Turing Award Lecture, 1991).

Honors and awards

  • Turing Award (1990).
  • Awarded the Fellow Award by the Computer History Museum in California (2012).


"The number of lines of code a programmer can write in a fixed period of time is the same independent of the language used." (Corbató's Law)

Related computer pioneers