A man whose seminal work laid the foundations for practically every modern game has passed away.

Dennis Ritchie’s death this week following a long illness was revealed by Google’s Rob Pike, and rapidly spread through the tech community as we mourn this great computer scientist.

Ritchie developed C – one of the most widely adopted programming languages of all time. Many higher-level applications used to build modern software have their roots in C or one of its many derivatives, and its influence on rival languages is not inconsiderable.

A Harvard graduate, Ritchie developed C alongside what would become the Unix operating system, itself a ubiquitous though less visible basis of modern information technology, while employed at Bell Laboratories.

Although widely acclaimed and the recipient of several important accolades including the Turing Prize, Ritchie was never much of a public figure and his name is not as well known as it perhaps ought to be, given the legacy he leaves us.