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Adobe founder, Charles ‘Chuck’ Geschke, has died at 81

Charles ‘Chuck’ Geschke – founder of major software company Adobe Inc. who helped develop the technology of Portable Document Format, or PDFs – died at the age of 81.

Geschke, a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area in Los Altos, died Friday, the company said.

“This is a huge loss for the entire Adobe community and the technology industry, which he has been his guide and hero for decades,” Adobe chief executive Shantanu Narayen wrote in an email to the company’s employees.

“Like the founders of Adobe, Chuck and John Warnock developed software that made a difference in how people build and communicate,” Narayen said.

“Their first product was Adobe PostScript, a new technology that gave them a new way to print text and images on paper and sparked a revolution in desktop publishing. Acrobat, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Photoshop. ”

His wife said Geschke was also proud of his family.

“He was a well-known businessman, founder of a large company in America and around the world, and he was very proud of that and it was a great achievement in his life, but it was not something he focused on – in fact, his family,” Nancy “Nan” Geschke, 78, told Mercury News on Saturday. “He always called himself the luckiest man in the world.”

After graduating with a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University, Geschke began working at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where he met with Warnock, reports Mercury News. The men left the company in 1982 and acquired Adobe, making software together.

In 2009, President Barack Obama awarded Geschke and Warnock the National Medal of Technology.

In 1992, Geschke escaped captivity, reports the Mercury News.

When they arrived at work that morning, two men arrested Geschke, then 52 years old, at gunpoint and took him to Hollister, California, where he was detained for four days.

The suspect who was caught with a $ 650,000 ransom ended up paying the police where he was arrested, The Associated Press reported.

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