Backus, John W., 1924-2007

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Computer scientist.

From the description of John W. Backus papers, 1951-2001 (bulk 1953-1991). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70984761

Developer of FORTRAN computer programming language.

From the description of Oral history interview with John W. Backus, 1984 Jan. 3. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 62423702

Biographical Note

  • 1924, Dec. 3: Born, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • 1942: Attended University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
  • 1943 - 1946 : United States Army, studied engineering at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa., and medicine at Flower and Fifth Avenue Medical School, New York, N.Y.
  • 1949: B.S. in mathematics, Columbia University, New York, N.Y.
  • 1950: M.A. in mathematics, Columbia University, New York, N.Y.
  • 1950 - 1953 : Programmer, IBM, New York, N.Y.
  • 1953 - 1959 : Manager, programming research, IBM, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
  • 1959 - 1963 : Staff member, T. J. Watson Research Center, IBM, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
  • 1963 - 1991 : IBM fellow, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., and Almaden Research Center, San Jose, Calif.
  • 1968: Married Barbara Una Stannard
  • 1976: Received National Medal of Science (National Science Foundation)
  • 1977: Received A. M. Turing Award (Association for Computing Machinery)
  • 1993: Received Charles Stark Draper Prize (National Academy of Engineering)
  • 2007, Mar. 17: Died, Ashland, Oreg.

From the guide to the John W. Backus Papers, 1951-2001, (bulk 1953-1991), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith International Business Machines Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Larson, Charles E., person
associatedWith Pessin, Florence, person
associatedWith Pioneers of Science and Technology Video Tape Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Pioneers of Science and Technology Video Tape Project. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Ballistic missile defenses
Cathode ray tube memory systems
Computer architecture
Computer engineering
Computer organization
Computer scientists
FORTRAN (Computer program language)
IBM 701 (Computer)
IBM 704 (Computer)
Programming languages (Electronic computers)
Computer scientists


Birth 1924-12-03

Death 2007-03-17



Ark ID: w6w66qzg

SNAC ID: 49751018