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

  • Japan Prize for Information and Communications (with Dennis Ritchie) (2011).
  • Tsutomu Kanai Award (1999).
  • National Medal of Technology (with Dennis Ritchie) (1998).
  • IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal (1990).
  • Elected, National Academy of Engineering (1988).
  • Turing Award (1983).


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

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