Co-founder of major creatives company Adobe, Mr Charles “Chuck” Geschke, who was also the person behind developing Portable Document Formats (PDFs) has passed away at the age of 81 years old. Geschke passed away on Friday, April 16 in San Francisco, Adobe said in a statement. “This is a huge loss for the entire Adobe community and the technology industry, for Geschke he has been a guide and hero for decades,” Adobe chief executive officer (CEO) Shantanu Narayen wrote in an email to the company’s employees. “As co-founders of Adobe, Chuck and John Warnock developed groundbreaking software that has revolutionized how people create and communicate,” Narayen said in the statement.
“Chuck and Warnock’s first product was Adobe PostScript, an innovative technology that provided a radical new way to print text and images on paper and sparked the desktop publishing revolution. Chuck instilled a relentless drive for innovation in the company, resulting in some of the most transformative software inventions, including the ubiquitous PDF, Acrobat, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and Photoshop.” His wife said Geschke was also proud of his family. “He was a famous businessman, the founder of a major company in the US and the world, and of course he was very, very proud of that and it was huge achievement in his life, but it wasn’t his focus — really, his family was,” Nancy “Nan” Geschke, 78, told the Mercury News on Saturday.
“He always called himself the luckiest man in the world.”
After earning a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University, Geschke began working at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where he met Warnock, the Mercury News reported.
The men left the company in 1982 to found Adobe, developing software together.
In 2009, President Barack Obama awarded Geschke and Warnock the National Medal of Technology.
In 1992, Geschke survived a kidnapping, the Mercury News reported.
Arriving to work one morning, two men seized Geschke, then 52, at gunpoint and took him to Hollister, California, where he was held for four days. A suspect caught with $650,000 in ransom money eventually led police to the hideout where he was held captive, The Associated Press reported.