Famous 20th Century Computer Engineers

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 1 
Linus Torvalds
(Finnish Software Engineer Who is the Main Developer of the 'Linux' Operating System)
Linus Torvalds
18
Birthdate: December 28, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Helsinki, Finland
Finnish software engineer Linus Torvalds developed the open-source software Linux kernel, the Git system, and the scuba dive planning software Subsurface. Named to Time 100 and inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame, he has also written an autobiography. He is married to Finnish karate champion Tove Torvalds.
 2 
John McAfee
(Computer Programmer and Businessman Who Wrote the First Commercial Anti-Virus Software)
John McAfee
10
Birthdate: September 18, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cinderford, Gloucestershire, England
Died: June 23, 2021

John McAfee is an English-American businessman and computer programmer. He is credited with founding one of the most popular software companies of all time, McAfee Associates, which specializes in producing enterprise security software. After leaving the company, which is now owned by TPG Capital and Intel, John McAfee went on to found other companies like Tribal Voice and Future Tense Central.

 3 
Vitalik Buterin
(Computer scientist)
Vitalik Buterin
12
Birthdate: January 31, 1994
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kolomna, Russia
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 4 
Jan Koum
(Co-Founder and Former CEO of ‘WhatsApp’)
Jan Koum
6
Birthdate: February 24, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine

Jan Koum is a Ukrainian American computer programmer and entrepreneur. He is credited with co-founding the popular cross-platform messaging service, WhatsApp. One of the most popular billionaires around the world, Koum donated almost $556 million to the donor-advised community foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, in 2014.

 5 
Hamza Bendelladj
(Computer engineer)
Hamza Bendelladj
10
Birthdate: January 1, 1988
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tizi Ouzou, Algeria
 6 
John Carmack
(Chief technology officer, Aerospace engineer, Programmer, Computer scientist)
John Carmack
8
Birthdate: August 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kansas City

Computer-game developer John Carmack introduced pioneering innovations in the 3-D game arena. He specializes in first-person shooter games, such as Quake and Doom. The id Software founder had spent a year in a juvenile home and had later dropped out of university to become a freelance programmer.

 7 
David Baszucki
(Entrepreneur)
David Baszucki
5
Birthdate: January 20, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius

David Baszucki is a Canadian-born American entrepreneur and inventor. He is credited with co-founding the Roblox Corporation, for which he also serves as the CEO. He is also credited with co-founding Knowledge Revolution, a company which was obtained by MSC Software in 1998. In 2017 and 2018, Baszucki was named one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs.

 8 
Guido van Rossum
(Dutch Programmer Known for Creating the 'Python' Programming Language)
Guido van Rossum
17
Birthdate: January 31, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haarlem, Netherlands
Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum is known as the inventor of the Python programming language. He has also worked with Google and Dropbox earlier. In November 2020, he announced he announced his decision to join the Developer Division of Microsoft. He has won several honors, such as the NLUUG Award.
 9 
Margaret Hamilton
(American Computer Scientist, Systems Engineer, and Business Owner)
Margaret Hamilton
6
Birthdate: August 17, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paoli, Indiana, United States

Credited with coining the term software engineering, computer scientist and systems engineer, Margaret Heafield Hamilton served as the Director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, overseeing the development of the on-board flight software for NASA's Apollo program.  A prolific writer, she is also the founder of two software companies; Higher Order Software and Hamilton Technologies.

 10 
Ma Huateng
(CEO of Tencent)
Ma Huateng
9
Birthdate: October 29, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chaoyang, Shantou

Chinese business magnate Ma Huateng, or Pony Ma, is best known as the founder, chairman, and CEO of the technology giant Tencent. His company owns the messaging app WeChat. One of CEOWORLD’s Most Powerful People in the World, he was a delegate of the 12th National People's Congress.

 11 
Shiva Ayyadurai
(Indian-American Politician, Entrepreneur and Anti-Vaccine Activist)
Shiva Ayyadurai
14
Birthdate: December 2, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Shiva Ayyadurai is an Indian-American engineer, scientist, and entrepreneur. He gained recognition after claiming to be the inventor of email, which is widely disputed even today. His claim is based on a software called EMAIL, which he wrote while studying at Livingston High School in the late-1970s. He is also known for his unfounded medical claims, including treatments for COVID-19.

 12 
Garrett Camp
(Innovator & Entrepreneurs)
Garrett Camp
7
Birthdate: October 4, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Calgary

Tech magnate Garrett Camp made headlines in 2020 when he quit his position of board director of Uber, a company co-founded by him, to focus on its product strategy. Camp has also formed companies such as StumbleUpon and the start-up incubator Expa Labs, and is part of The Giving Pledge.

 13 
Alicia Nash
(Salvadoran-American Physicist)
Alicia Nash
4
Birthdate: January 1, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Salvador, El Salvador
Died: May 23, 2015

Born in El Salvador, Alicia Nash later moved to the U.S., where she became one of the first women to join MIT as a student. The physicist met her husband, renowned mathematician John Nash at MIT. Both Alicia and John were killed in car crash while returning home from Norway.

 14 
Fredrik Neij
(Engineer, Computer scientist)
Fredrik Neij
18
Birthdate: April 27, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jönköping

One of the co-founders of the torrent site The Pirate Bay, Fredrik Neij created headlines after being charged with copyright infringement. He spent 10 months in a prison in Skänninge, Sweden. After his release, he decided to set up base in Laos and work in the IT sector.

 15 
Tim Sweeney
(Computer programmer)
Tim Sweeney
9
Birthdate: 1970 AD
Birthplace: Potomac, Maryland, United States
 16 
Marc Andreessen
(Best Known as Co-Author of 'Mosaic', the First Widely Used Web Browser)
Marc Andreessen
5
Birthdate: July 9, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States

Marc Andreessen is an American entrepreneur, software engineer, and investor. He is credited with co-founding the independent computer services company Netscape as well as the private venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Marc Andreessen is also credited with co-authoring one of the first web browsers, NCSA Mosaic. In 1994, he was inducted into the World Wide Web Hall of Fame.

 17 
Sid Meier
(Canadian-American Programmer, Designer, and Producer of 'Civilization' Game Series)
Sid Meier
7
Birthdate: February 24, 1954
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sarnia, Canada

Game designer Sid Meier soared to fame with the strategy game series Civilization. Initially a cash-register designer, he later co-founded the gaming company MicroProse. He met his wife at a Lutheran Church, where they both still sing. Apart from the AIAS Hall of Fame Award, he has also penned a memoir.

 18 
George Hotz
(Blogger, Programmer, Computer scientist)
George Hotz
8
Birthdate: October 2, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glen Rock, New Jersey

Known online as Geohot, George Francis Hotz is an American security hacker and software engineer, who at the age of seventeen became the first person to hack Apple’s iPhone. Later, he developed iOS jailbreaks and became the first person to crack a defense system in Sony PlayStation 3. Currently, he is working at comma.ai, a startup he founded in 2015.

 19 
Edsger W. Dijkstra
(Dutch Mathematician and Computer Scientist Best Known for His Shortest-Path Algorithm in Graph Theory)
Edsger W. Dijkstra
5
Birthdate: May 11, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died: August 6, 2002

A pioneering computer scientist from the Netherlands, Edsger W. Dijkstra had initially studied theoretical physics, before focusing on computers. He developed the domain of structured programming and also won honors such as the Turing Award. He died at 72, after a long struggle with cancer.

 20 
Peter Molyneux
(Game programmer, Engineer, Programmer, Game designer)
Peter Molyneux
5
Birthdate: May 5, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Guildford

Peter Molyneux is an English programmer and video game designer. He is credited with creating several popular video games like Populous, Dungeon Keeper, Theme Park, Godus, and the Fable series. In 2004, he was inducted into the AIAS Hall of Fame. In 2011, Peter Molyneux was honored at the Game Developers Choice Awards with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

 21 
Shawn Fanning
(Computer scientist, Programmer)
Shawn Fanning
7
Birthdate: November 22, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brockton

Computer programmer and entrepreneur Shawn Fanning revolutionized the world of information technology by developing a program that let users share MP3 copies of music from their personal computers with others on the internet. His invention led to the formation of Napster and got him featured on the cover of Time.

 22 
Evan Williams
(Co-founder of Blogger & Twitter)
Evan Williams
5
Birthdate: March 31, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clarks
 23 
Ed Boon
(Programmer, Engineer, Screenwriter, Computer scientist)
Ed Boon
3
Birthdate: February 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago
 24 
Tim Schafer
(Engineer, Programmer, Video game developer)
Tim Schafer
5
Birthdate: July 26, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sonoma
 25 
Daniel Fredinburg
(Google Executive and Climate Activist)
Daniel Fredinburg
5
Birthdate: September 8, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mission Viejo, California, United States
Died: April 25, 2015

Daniel Fredinburg was an American climate activist, Google executive, explorer, inventor, and entrepreneur. He was credited with co-inventing over 12 software technologies that were recognized and patented by Google. Daniel Fredinburg also served as the head of privacy at Google X before his untimely and tragic death caused by head injuries during an avalanche, at the age of 33.

 26 
Tommy Rettig
(Child Actor)
Tommy Rettig
5
Birthdate: December 10, 1941
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jackson Heights, New York, United States
Died: February 15, 1996
 27 
Douglas Engelbart
5
Birthdate: January 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: July 2, 2013
 28 
Jonathan Ive
(Industrial designer)
Jonathan Ive
5
Birthdate: February 27, 1967
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chingford

Jonathan Ive is a British-American product, industrial, and architectural designer. The former Chief Design Officer (CDO) of Apple Inc., Ive played a major role in the designs of several Apple products, such as the iPhone, MacBook, iMac, iPad, and iPod. He also played an important role in the designs of Apple's architectural projects, such as Apple Stores and Apple Park.

 29 
Richard Garriott
(Astronaut, Engineer, Video game developer, Programmer)
Richard Garriott
5
Birthdate: July 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cambridge
 30 
Chris Metzen
(Artist, Comics artist, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter, Voice actor, Visual artist, Author, Computer scientist, Science fiction writer)
Chris Metzen
9
Birthdate: November 22, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: United States of America
 31 
Brendan Eich
(computer scientist, programmer, chief technology officer)
Brendan Eich
5
Birthdate: July 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pittsburgh
 32 
Hans Reiser
(Programmer, Entrepreneur, Computer scientist, Homicide)
Hans Reiser
3
Birthdate: December 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: California
 33 
Demis Hassabis
(Engineer, Chess player)
Demis Hassabis
9
Birthdate: July 27, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London

Demis Hassabis is a British neuroscientist, artificial intelligence (AI) researcher, entrepreneur, and video game designer. He is credited with co-founding DeepMind for which he is currently serving as the chief executive officer. Over the years, he has won several prestigious awards, such as the Mullard Award. In 2017, he was named among the 100 most influential people in Time 100.

 34 
Ray Tomlinson
(Inventor of the First Email System)
Ray Tomlinson
7
Birthdate: April 23, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amsterdam, New York, U.S.
Died: March 5, 2016
 35 
Jonathan Blow
(programmer, game designer)
Jonathan Blow
5
Birthdate: 1971 AD
 36 
Tony Fadell
(Engineer)
Tony Fadell
5
Birthdate: March 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
 37 
Edmund McMillen
(Video game developer, Computer scientist)
Edmund McMillen
5
Birthdate: March 2, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santa Cruz
 38 
Bill Joy
(Computer scientist, co-founded Sun Microsystems)
Bill Joy
5
Birthdate: November 8, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Farmington Hills, Michigan, United States
 39 
Andrew Gower
(Engineer)
Andrew Gower
5
Birthdate: December 2, 1978
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nottingham

Best known as Cutler from the series Being Human, Andrew Gower also impressed his fans with his performance as “Bonnie Prince” Charles Edward Stuart in Outlander. A prominent stage actor, too, he has been part of many Oxford School of Drama productions. He has also experimented with a music career.

 40 
Kai-Fu Lee
(Computer Scientist)
Kai-Fu Lee
3
Birthdate: December 3, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Taipei

Kai-Fu Lee is a computer scientist, writer, and businessman. One of the Chinese internet sector's most important figures, Lee is credited with creating a website called Wǒxuéwǎng, which aims at helping young people achieve in their respective careers. Also popular on social media, Lee is one of China's most-followed micro-bloggers; he has more than 50 million followers on Sina Weibo.

 41 
Ward Cunningham
(Programmer, Computer scientist)
Ward Cunningham
5
Birthdate: May 26, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: United States of America
 42 
Ian Murdock
(Software engineer, known for being the founder of the Debian project and Progeny Linux Systems)
Ian Murdock
5
Birthdate: April 28, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Konstanz, Germany
Died: December 28, 2015
 43 
Rob Pike
(Canadian Programmer Best Known for His Work on the 'Go Programming Language' and 'Plan 9' Operating System)
Rob Pike
5
Birthdate: 1956 AD
Birthplace: Canada

Best known as the co-designer of the Go programming language, computer programmer Rob Pike has had an illustrious stint with the Bell Labs and now works with Google. He was also part of the Unix development team and has co-written books such as The Practice of Programming.

 44 
Eric S. Raymond
(Software developer, Engineer, Programmer, Writer, Lawyer, Computer scientist, Journalist)
Eric S. Raymond
4
Birthdate: December 4, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Boston
 45 
Ze Frank
(Artist)
Ze Frank
5
Birthdate: March 31, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Guilderland
 46 
Jacob Appelbaum
(computer scientist, blogger, Internet activist, journalist)
Jacob Appelbaum
4
Birthdate: April 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries
 47 
Bill Hewlett
(Entrepreneur)
Bill Hewlett
4
Birthdate: May 20, 1913
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Died: January 12, 2001
 48 
Ben Swann
(Journalist)
Ben Swann
4
Birthdate: July 17, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: El Paso
 49 
Patrice Désilets
(Game designer)
Patrice Désilets
4
Birthdate: May 9, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

Canadian game designer Patrice Désilets is best known for his Assassin's Creed game series. He also contributed to the creative direction of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Hype: The Time Quest. After leaving Ubisoft, he formed his own studio, the Montreal-based Panache Digital Games.

 50 
Joel Spolsky
(computer scientist, programmer)
Joel Spolsky
4
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Albuquerque