Sad news. Rob Pike reports on Google Plus that Dennis Ritchie died at his home this weekend after a long illness. Ritchie created the C programming language and was a key contributor to Unix. In 1983 he received the Turing Award with his long time colleague Ken Thompson for the development of operating systems theory and the implementation of the UNIX. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1988 and has received many other national and international awards, including the including the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal, te National Medal of Technology and the Japan Prize.

Update 10/14: The New York Times published a story on Ritchie yesterday, Dennis Ritchie, Trailblazer in Digital Era, Dies at 70.

Update 10/15: In Dizzying but Invisible Depth, Jean-Baptiste Queru offers an interesting perspective on "why the mainstream press and the general population has talked so much about Steve Jobs' death and comparatively so little about Dennis Ritchie's".

Update 10/15: Bjarne Stroustrup on the importance of Ritchie’s contributions to our field: They said it couldn’t be done, and he did it.