Charles Geschke, co-founder of Adobe and co-inventor of the PDF, has passed away at the age of 81


Charles “Chuck” Geschke, an Adobe co-founder who helped develop the PDF, has passed away at the age of 81, the company said in a statement

“This is a huge loss to the entire Adobe community and the technology industry, for whom he has been a guide and hero for decades,” said Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe, in an email to Adobe employees.

“As co-founders of Adobe, Chuck and John Warnock developed groundbreaking software that revolutionized the way people create and communicate,” said Narayen. “Chuck instilled a relentless drive for innovation in the business, resulting in some of the most transformative software inventions, including the ubiquitous PDF, Acrobat, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Photoshop.”

Geschke earned a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and then took a job at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where he met Warnock. The couple left Xerox in 1982 and founded Adobe. Their first product was Adobe PostScript, the programming language that has boosted the desktop publishing industry.

Geschke was Adobe’s chief operating officer from December 1986 to July 1994 and president from April 1989 until his retirement in April 2000. He served as chairman of the board of directors at Warnock from September 1997 to January 2017 and served on the board until April 2020. ., when he became an emeritus board member.

“I never imagined I would have 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.”

In addition to his contributions to the technology industry, Geschke was also known for survived an attempted kidnapping in 1992Two men grabbed him when he arrived at work one morning and held him for four days, demanding a ransom. He was eventually rescued by the FBI.

President Obama knew Warnock and Geschke de National Medal of Technology in 2009.

“He was a famous businessman, the founder of a great company in the US and the world, and of course he was very proud of that and it was a huge achievement in his life, but it was not his focus – really, his family was, “his wife Nancy Geschke, 78, told the Mercury News“He always called himself the happiest man in the world.”

Geschke is survived by his wife Nancy, with whom he was married for 56 years, three children and seven grandchildren.