Charles M. Geschke

2002 Fellow

For his accomplishments in the commercialization of desktop publishing with John Warnock and for innovations in scalable type, computer graphics and printing

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

— Charles M. Geschke

Charles Geschke was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1939 and holds an AB in classics (1962), and an MS in mathematics (1963), both from Xavier University, and a PhD in computer science (1972) from Carnegie Mellon University.

In 1978, Geschke formed the Imaging Sciences Laboratory at Xerox PARC, where he directed research in computer science, graphics, image processing, and optics. He hired his long-term research partner, John Warnock, and the two invented a page description language-a means of describing complex forms like typefaces electronically-called Interpress. When Xerox decided not to commercialize this invention, Geschke and Warnock left PARC and cofounded Adobe Systems

Interpress evolved into Adobe's PostScript which, when combined in 1985 with hardware from Apple Computer (including Apple's new LaserWriter printer), formed the first "desktop publishing" (DTP) system, one in which anyone could set type, compose documents, and print them as they appeared on the screen-all electronically. This new approach allowed business users to greatly improve the quality and efficiency of their document production, spawning an entire industry.

Geschke is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and an ACM Fellow. He retired as president of Adobe in 2000.


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