Lawrence (Larry) Tesler who invented “cut, copy and paste, Find and Replace” is dead. The Bronx-born pioneering computer scientist died on Monday February 16, 2020 at the age of 74.
The Xerox company where he spent part of his career wrote on their twitter handle;
“The inventor of cut/copy & paste, find & replace, and more was former Xerox researcher Larry Tesler.
Your workday is easier thanks to his revolutionary ideas. Larry passed away Monday, so please join us in celebrating him”.
The Stanford University graduate specialized in human-computer interaction, utilizing his expertise at companies such as Amazon, Apple, Yahoo and the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).
The idea for the cut and paste command reportedly emanated from an old-style of editing that literally entailed cutting portions of printed text and gluing it elsewhere.
In a tweet, the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley, said:
“Tesler created the idea of cut, copy, & paste and combined computer science training with a counterculture vision that computers should be for everyone”
The revolutionary command was first used by Apple in 1983 and on the original Macintosh, which was released in 1984.
On his website, Tesler had written;
“I have been mistakenly identified as the father of the graphical user interface for the Macintosh. I was not. However, a paternity test might expose me as one of its many grandparents”.
Leaving Stanford, Tesler began his career, making computers more accessible and user-friendly. He left Xerox to work for Apple in 1980 after he was recruited by its late co-founder Steve Jobs and spent 17 years at Apple and became the chief scientist.
He established an education software startup, Stage cast by doing stints in user-experience technology at Amazon and Yahoo.
Tesler was committed to spreading the knowledge he’d acquired through his long career. In an interview with BBC in 2012:
“There’s almost a rite of passage – after you’ve made some money, you don’t just retire, you spend your time funding other companies”.
“There’s a very strong element of excitement, of being able to share what you’ve learned with the next generation”.
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this man actually made life easy for us.