Larry Tesler, a famous computer scientist and mathematician, has died at the age of 74. From 1980 to 1997, he worked at Apple, hired by Steve Jobs, and eventually promoted to vice president and chief scientist. During his 17 years at Apple, he began working on Apple Lisa, was responsible for Newton’s development, and invented the copy-and-paste operation.
He is also a major contributor to major Macintosh software, including QuickTime, AppleScript and Bill Atkinson’s HyperCard. At the end of 1979, Xerox assigned Larry Tesler to take Steve Jobs to visit its Palo Alto Research Center. During these two visits to PARC, he saw Steve Jobs and his colleagues working on research and development, prompting Steve Jobs to decide to develop Lisa and Mac, and to have Larry Tesler work at Apple.
While Apple was considering acquiring NeXT, Larry Tesler suggested that Apple’s then-CEO, Gil Amelio, buy NeXT. Apple bought NeXT, and Jobs took over the role of Gil Amelio, which began to rise to its trillion-dollar market value today. One of the key components of the growth was the migration to Intel processors in 2006. This brings new life to the Mac. The decision was also the result of suggestions from Larry Tesler and other engineers.
Also while running Apple’s Newton project, he persuaded Apple to invest in ARM in the UK, which eventually generated more than $800 million in revenue from Apple’s $5 million investment. Currently, ARM processors are used on iPhones and iPads, but could soon be the next platform for Macs.