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Chuck Geschke, inventor of PDF and Adobe co-founder, dies at 81

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Apr 19, 2021 3:00 pm

Adobe co-creator and the inventor of the Portable Document Format (PDF), Dr. Charls “Chuck” Geschke,  has died at the age of 81 on April 17.

Born in 1939, Chuck earned his PhD degree in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. He then founded Adobe with business partner John Warnock after they worked together at Xerox in Palo Alto. He helmed  Adobe as CEO from December 1986 to July 1994, and served as president in 1989 and 2000. 

He served as chairman of the board along with Warnock from September 1997 to January 2017. He only retired from Adobe in April 2020.

Aside from the PDF, Chuck also lent a hand in developing many of the Adobe software we now use today, such as Photoshop, Acrobat, Premiere, InDesign and more.

“I could never have imagined having a better, more likable, or more capable business partner,” Warnock said in a statement. “Not having Chuck in our lives will leave a huge hole and those who knew him will all agree.”

Taking to Twitter, Adobe also shared that  “Chuck was a hero and guiding light for so many of us in the technology industry. He leaves an indelible mark on our company and the world.”

Photo from Adobe