Thomas E. Kurtz

1991 Computer Pioneer Award






Thomas Kurtz was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1928.  He received his bachelors degree from Knox College and in 1956 he also received his P.H.D from Princeton.  In 1963 he co-wrote Basic Statistics with John Kemeny.  In 1964 they wrote the first version of BASIC.  In 1967 the co-authored the textbook, BASIC programming.  Basic stands for Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.  It was created at Dartmouth College in 1964 to give students a simple programming language that was easy  to learn.  On May 1, 1964, two programs written in BASIC ran at the same time on the Dartmouth computers and both accomplishments would change computing forever.  Ten years later, a version of BASIC was co-written by Bill Gates and three decades later, Basic is far the most popular computer computer programming language.  BASIC allows you to create usuable software pollutions with maximum productivity.  BASIC also allows you to complete your work many times faster than other programs.  Kurts currently is a proffessor at Emiritus at Dartmouth in Wisconsin.