Ritchie, or dmr as he was called in programming circles, worked most of his life at Bell Laboratories where he helped create the C programming language and worked extensively on the Unix operating system. Without his work many of the computing products we have today would not exist. Apple, whose OS X operating system is based on Unix and whose Objective C programming language is rooted in C, has benefitted greatly from Ritchie’s work.
Ritchie also co-wrote the definitive bible on C programming (a must have for any programmer) and has been awarded the Turing Award, the National Medal of Technology and, recently, the Japan Prize for his work in the field of computer science. He died at home over the weekend of Oct 8-9 from an unknown illness. He was 70 years old. [Google+ and Boing Boing]