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This web site was originally completed in early 2007, but is slowly being revised.

Ralph Griswold Passes Away

Dr. Ralph E. Griswold passed away on October 4, 2006.

Highlights of His Major Accomplishments

  • Co-Author and major force behind the design, development and support of the SNOBOL series of programming languages while at Bell Labs, where he became head of Programming Research and Development during the 1960s.
  • Founder of the Computer Science department at the University of Arizona in Tuscon in 1971, Department Head until 1981, became Regents Professor in 1990, and retired in 1995.
  • Designed and developed the Icon programming language, expanding on SNOBOL4’s string manipulation and high level data structures, in a C-like structured programming language.
  • His programming languages were portable across almost every conceivable computing platform, and he ensured that they remained in the Public Domain.
  • He was more than a generation ahead of his time, with Open Source finally gaining acceptance in major Business Computing environments in the mid-2000s, by providing source code and support for his software in the Public Domain.
  • Dr. Griswold argued tirelessly that Computing Science Research organizations could provide better support than commercial software vendors.