Co-founder of Adobe and Inventor of PDF Dead at 83

John Warnock, who was announced dead at the age of 83, on Saturday, August 19, is known for creating PDF files used by many in the world on desktops and phones. PDF aka. Portable Document Format completely changed how documents are viewed. PDFs mimic a printed document but rather than paper, it’s stored as an image electronically. It allows the user to view, navigate, print and forward to others. Some examples of using PDFs in the real world can be resumes. PDFs allow you to send important documents such as resumes to recipients knowing that they are seeing the exact thing you want them to see. It also prevents the editing of the document. Overall PDfs allow the creator to preserve and store documents and distribute them knowing that the files can’t be edited. Warnock also co-founded Adobe alongside Charles Geschke which is a digital media segment that provides services such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom. The software was also used to create the PDFs that John had invented.

Warnock grew up in Halladay, Utah, and retired as CEO of Adobe in 2000. Though retired he continued to serve as chairman of the board shared with Charles Geschke until 2017. He studied math and philosophy at the University of Utah and after graduating in 1961 he stayed to study for his master’s degree which he received in 1964. 

Warnock’s work had hardly been unrecognized, in fact, Barack Obama awarded him with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation as well as receiving the Marconi Prize for contributions to information science and communications on a separate note which he shared with Charles Geschke.

John Warnock will be forever remembered in technology as the guy who revolutionized transportation media and created simple access software for everyone as higher firms like Microsoft in that era were charging more and more.


Washington Post 


Tech Target

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