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Man who invented ‘cut, copy and paste’ dies at 74

By Grace Ng'ang'a | February 20th 2020
By Grace Ng'ang'a | February 20th 2020
Pioneering Silicon Valley inventor Larry Tesler. [Courtesy]

The computer scientist who invented the concept of cut, copy and paste command died this week, US media have reported.

Lawrence Gordon Tesler popularly known as Larry Tesler died on Monday at the age of 74. The cause of his death is yet to be known.

Larry was a graduate of Stanford University who specialised in human-computer interaction.

According to the American technology-news online magazine Verge and his CV posted online, he joined Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1973, where he developed cut, copy, and paste, a concept that has since become instrumental for the computer operating system.

The cut and paste command is reportedly inspired by old-time editing which mainly involved cutting portions of printed text and fixing them elsewhere with paste.

Xerox paid tribute to him on Twitter, saying his revolutionary inventions made workdays easier.

Tesler was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1945 and worked for numerous tech giants.

After his stint at Xerox, he was poached by Steve Jobs to work  for Apple – spending 17 years at company where he rose to chief scientist.

CNET reports that at Apple, he was involved in the user interface design of the Lisa, Macintosh and Newton, a precursor to the iPhone.

Tesler left Apple in 1997 and joined Amazon as vice president. He later went on to become the head of user experience design and research.

He also worked for education software start-up Stagecast and personal genetics Information Company 23andMe.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he was a semi-retired consultant living San Francisco Bay Area.

Not much is known about his family.

Tesler should not be confused for Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system.

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