Chm Blog Remarkable People

Remembering Charles M. Geschke: September 11, 1939–April 16, 2021

By CHM Editorial | April 19, 2021

Don’t be afraid. Take a risk. Focus on the people who are going to help you achieve what you want to achieve, because you're not going to do it alone.

— Charles M. Geschke

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Charles “Chuck” Geschke, Adobe cofounder and 2002 CHM Fellow, at the age of 81 on April 16, 2021. Geschke grew up in Cleveland and originally studied to become a Jesuit priest. He earned a PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1972, when he, his wife Nan, and their three children moved to Los Altos, California.

That same year, Geschke began his career as a scientist and researcher in the Computer Sciences Laboratory of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). In 1978, he helped establish and manage PARC’s Imaging Sciences Laboratory, where he supervised and conducted research on graphics, image processing, and optics. He soon hired computer scientist John Warnock and together they invented Interpress, a page description language for computer printing.

In 1982, after garnering no interest in their invention at PARC, the pair left the research center and created a new company, Adobe Systems—named after a creek that ran past their homes in Los Altos. At Adobe, Interpress evolved into Postscript, becoming an industry standard for desktop publishing—a new era in computer printing and production based on laser printers, Postscript, and page layout programs.

Since its modest beginnings, Adobe has become a global leader in tools for image creation and production, with over 21,000 employees and a global presence. We salute Dr. Geschke for his world-changing contributions.

From the Collection

The Adobe Story: Chuck Geschke's Distinguished Alumni Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University. CHM Collection, 102795071.

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CHM Editorial consists of editors, curators, writers, educators, archivists, media producers, researchers, and web designers, looking to bring CHM audiences the best in technology and Museum news.

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