Ken Thompson

Updated: 09/03/2019 by Computer Hope
Ken Thompson

Name: Kenneth Lane Thompson

Born: February 4, 1943, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Computer-related contributions

  • Helped develop the UNIX operating system.
  • Created the B programming language with Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs in 1969.
  • Helped develop the Multics operating system.

Honors and awards

  • With Dennis Ritchie was awarded the Japan Prize for Information and Communications in 2011.
  • Awarded the first Tsutomu Kanai Award in 1999.
  • Awarded National Medal of Technology on April 21, 1998 with Dennis Ritchie.
  • Received the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1990.
  • Elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1988.
  • Received the Turing Award in 1983.


"One of my most productive days was throwing away 1000 lines of code."

Related computer pioneers