The Utah co-founder of Adobe has passed away

John Warnock, who was born and raised in Salt Lake City, was 82 years old.

(Screengrab via University of Utah) Keynote speaker John Warnock, co-founder of Adobe Inc., appears during the University of Utah virtual commencement ceremony held on Thursday, April 30, 2020. The event took place exclusively online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

John Warnock, a Utah co-founder of Adobe, died Saturday at the age of 82.

“John’s brilliance and technological innovations have changed the world,” wrote Shantanu Narayen, Adobe chairman and CEO, in an email to employees. “It’s a sad day for the Adobe community and the industry he has inspired for decades. … John is widely regarded as one of the greatest inventors of our generation and has had a significant impact on how we communicate in words, images and video.”

In 1982, Warnock co-founded Adobe with Charles Geschke after the two met while working at Xerox. Their first product was Adobe PostScript, “a breakthrough technology that started the desktop publishing revolution,” according to Adobe. Under his leadership, Adobe launched the PDF file format, along with Acrobat, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro.

One of Adobe’s fonts, Warnock, is named after him.

Warnock retired as CEO in 2000 and served as co-chairman with Geschke until 2017. He remained a member of the company’s board of directors until his death.

Warnock was born in Salt Lake City and grew up in Holladay. He graduated from Olympus High School, where he failed math as a ninth grader, he said in an interview with US magazine Continuum.

He graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and philosophy and later received a master’s degree in mathematics and a doctorate in electrical engineering/computer science from the US

Warnock and his wife Marva ran the Blue Boar Inn & Restaurant in Midway. The John E. & Marva M. Warnock Engineering Building at the University of Utah, which opened in 2007, was named after them.

Justin Scaccy

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