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Fortran developer John Backus dies at 82

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Obits

John W. Backus, who led the team at IBM that created the computer language Fortran, died Saturday, at age 82.

Fortran, released in 1957, was considered a major step forward in computer programming languages. It was used for intensive supercomputing problems, and thanks to the creation of multiple compilers, was one of the first languages to be widely used across different architectures.

Backus was known as a maverick at a time when IBM was renowned for its stolid, corporate image. Bloggers are lamenting his death while celebrating his achievements.

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