Famous American Computer Engineers

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Today for everything under the sun, you are but just a touch (in case of touchpad) or a click (in case of mouse) away - whether it is payment of bills or transfer of funds, sending important mails or some fresh flowers, computers today have resolved all our demands for necessities and luxuries. What’s more, they have been our wonder machines bringing us all to a world platform. With the advent and advancement of technology, our lives have transformed completely. Humans today have become inseparable from their own creations – be it internet, social media, video games, laptops or smartphones. But we often forget to thank the brains behind all of these – computer engineers. Thanks to computer engineers who built the machine, wrote its code, and guided its evolution and advancement, we have a tech-savvy world. And while talking about computer engineers, one cannot but fathom the contribution made by Americans. Whether it is the social media ‘wonder boy’ Mark Zuckberg or business magnate Larry Page, programmer and entrepreneur Douglas Crockford or computer scientist Sergey Brin, American computer engineers have left an indelible mark on the field of computer engineering with their pioneering work. Browse through this section and find out details about the life and works of famous American computer engineers.
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 1 
Kevin Systrom
(Computer Programmer, Entrepreneur and Co-Founded of ‘Instagram’)
Kevin Systrom
12
Birthdate: December 30, 1983
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Holliston, Massachusetts, United States

Computer programmer and entrepreneur Kevin Systrom is one of the co-founders of the photo-sharing app Instagram. He resigned as the Instagram CEO in 2018. He was named to Forbes’s 30 under 30 list in 2014 and was one of the U.S’s richest entrepreneurs below 40 in 2016.

 2 
Linus Torvalds
(Finnish Software Engineer Who is the Main Developer of the 'Linux' Operating System)
Linus Torvalds
22
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.
 3 
Dustin Moskovitz
(Entrepreneur)
Dustin Moskovitz
16
Birthdate: May 22, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gainesville, Florida, United States

Dustin Moskovitz is an Internet entrepreneur. He is credited with co-founding the popular social networking service, Facebook. In 2008, he co-founded a web and mobile application called Asana after quitting Facebook. One of the youngest self-made billionaires of all time, Dustin Moskovitz is also renowned for his philanthropic activities; he co-founded a philanthropic organization called Good Ventures in 2011.

 4 
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.

 5 
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.

 6 
Richard Stallman
(Free Software Movement Activist and Programmer)
Richard Stallman
4
Birthdate: March 16, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Computer programmer and free-software activist Richard Stallman established the Free Software Foundation. The Harvard and MIT alumnus led the free GNU project, aimed at creating a UNIX-like operating system. He was later dragged into a controversy when he dismissed a sexual assault victim’s allegation against Jeffrey Epstein.

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

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 
John Carmack
(Chief technology officer, Aerospace engineer, Programmer, Computer scientist)
John Carmack
10
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.

 9 
Zoe Quinn
(Video Game Developer)
Zoe Quinn
7
Birthdate: August 13, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: United States
 10 
Paul Buchheit
(Creator of Gmail)
Paul Buchheit
5
Birthdate: November 7, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Webster, New York, United States

Paul Buchheit is an American entrepreneur and computer engineer. He is credited with creating Gmail and developing a prototype of Google AdSense. In 2007, he launched FriendFeed, which was later acquired by Facebook. In 2011, Paul Buchheit was honored with the Economist Innovation Award. Also a noted philanthropist, Paul Buchheit has made donations to several health organizations.

 11 
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.

 12 
Toby Fox
(Video Game Developer and Composer Known for His Games: ‘Undertale’ and ‘Deltarune’)
Toby Fox
5
Birthdate: October 11, 1991
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manchester, New Hampshire, United States

Video game developer and composer Toby Fox is best known for developing the video games Deltarune and Undertale. He started composing music for webcomics while still in high school. As a video game developer, he created the video game Undertale independently and also released a number of unused musical tracks from the same.

 13 
Shiva Ayyadurai
(Indian-American Politician, Entrepreneur and Anti-Vaccine Activist)
Shiva Ayyadurai
16
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.

 14 
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.

 15 
Ron Watkins
(System administrator and Spreading of QAnon conspiracy theories)
Ron Watkins
2
Birthdate: 1988 AD
Birthplace: Not known
 16 
Mike Krieger
(Co-founder of Instagram)
Mike Krieger
4
Birthdate: March 4, 1986
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: São Paulo, Brazil
Mike Krieger is a Brazilian-American entrepreneur and software engineer. He co-founded Instagram along with Kevin Systrom. He studied symbolic systems at Stanford University, where he first met Kevin. The two men later sold Instagram to Facebook and began focusing on other projects. Krieger is also a philanthropist and is in a partnership with charity evaluator GiveWell. 
 17 
Tim Sweeney
(Computer programmer)
Tim Sweeney
11
Birthdate: 1970 AD
Birthplace: Potomac, Maryland, United States
 18 
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.

 19 
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.

 20 
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.

 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 
Bobby Murphy
(Co-Founder of Snapchat. and software engineer)
Bobby Murphy
4
Birthdate: July 19, 1988
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States
 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 
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.

 28 
Douglas Engelbart
5
Birthdate: January 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: July 2, 2013
 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 
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
 34 
Jonathan Blow
(programmer, game designer)
Jonathan Blow
5
Birthdate: 1971 AD
 35 
Tony Fadell
(Engineer)
Tony Fadell
5
Birthdate: March 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
 36 
Edmund McMillen
(Video game developer, Computer scientist)
Edmund McMillen
5
Birthdate: March 2, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santa Cruz
 37 
Bill Joy
(Computer scientist, co-founded Sun Microsystems)
Bill Joy
5
Birthdate: November 8, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Farmington Hills, Michigan, United States
 38 
Ward Cunningham
(Programmer, Computer scientist)
Ward Cunningham
5
Birthdate: May 26, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: United States of America
 39 
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
 40 
Greg Gianforte
(25th Governor of Montana)
Greg Gianforte
2
Birthdate: April 17, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States
 41 
Bram Cohen
(Computer Programmer, Best Known as the Author of the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) BitTorrent Protocol)
Bram Cohen
2
Birthdate: October 12, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Amit Singhal
5
Birthplace: Jhansi
 43 
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
 44 
Mike Harrington
(Computer Engineer)
Mike Harrington
4
Birthplace: United States
 45 
Ze Frank
(Artist)
Ze Frank
5
Birthdate: March 31, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Guilderland
 46 
Jacob Appelbaum
(Computer Scientist, Journalist)
Jacob Appelbaum
4
Birthdate: April 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: United States
 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 
Milton Bradley
(Publisher, Writer)
Milton Bradley
6
Birthdate: November 8, 1836
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Maine, United States
Died: May 30, 1911
 49 
Ben Swann
(Journalist)
Ben Swann
4
Birthdate: July 17, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: El Paso
 50 
Joel Spolsky
(computer scientist, programmer)
Joel Spolsky
4
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Albuquerque