American computer scientist, inventor, and technology businessman John Edward Warnock, best known for co-founding Adobe Systems Inc., the graphics and publishing software company, died on 19 August. He was 82.
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur died surrounded by family. Warnock co-founded Adobe in 1982 with Charles “Chuck” Geschke after meeting as colleagues at Xerox. They named the company Adobe after a creek near their homes in Los Altos, California. Their first product Adobe PostScript was a groundbreaking technology that sparked the desktop revolution.
In recognition of their technical achievements, Warnock was awarded the prestigious National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2008 by Barack Obama; the Computer Entrepreneur Award from the IEEE Computer Society; the American Electronics Association Medal of Achievement; and the Marconi Prize for contributions to information science and communications.
Adobe is widely associated with Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Photoshop, but the company has maintained an impressive portfolio of well-regarded staple applications in multiple industries. During Warnock’s tenure as the company CEO, Adobe created industry-standard software for audio recording, business, graphic design, photography, video editing, and more.
Adobe Chair and CEO Shantanu Narayen shared a warm personal tribute to Warnock with all his employees, “His vision and passion enabled Adobe to deliver groundbreaking innovations as illustrator, the ubiquitous PDF file format and Acrobat, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro, defining the desktop era and unleashing creativity and opportunity for millions of people. John has been widely acknowledged as one of the greatest inventors in our generation with significant impact on how we communicate in words, images, and videos.”
“John was incredibly insightful on which technologies would delight customers as well as create business value. He along with wife Marva, who is a graphics artist, used our products constantly and set the standard for customer empathy,” says Narayen.
“My interactions with John over the past 25 years have been the highlight of my professional career. At breakfasts with John and Chuck, we would imagine the future that gave me a unique insight into John, who was truly a renaissance man,” adds Narayen.
Warnock is survived by his wife Marva Mullins and three children.