John G. Kemeny (1926 - 1992)
John George Kemeny was born on May 31, 1926 in Budapest, Hungary. He grew up in Hungary until 1940. His family was Jewish, so they emigrated to New York, city, escaping the holocaust, where Kemeny attended George Washington High School knowing no english. Three years later, he graduated first in his class and got accepted to Princeton University to study mathematics and philosophy. After finishing a year in Princeton, Kemeny was sent to Los Alamos to work on the Manhattan Project, which is where they made atomic bombs during WWII. After this experience, instead of going back to Princeton, Kemeny accepted a challenge to create a mathematics program at Dartmouth, age 27. Him and his colleague, Thomas E. Kurtz, came up with a sharing system that was known to be one of the first ones in the world. The reason they did this was to make computing accessible to students. When building this, Kemeny decided that a programming language should be a simple way for this. BASIC (Beginners All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.) BASIC is the most widely used computer programming language that we still use today. The first time the BASIC program ran was at Dartmouth at 2 am on May 4, 1964. In 1983, Kemeny and Kurtz later came up with TrueBasic, another language that they felt BASIC should have developed to. Unfortunately, John George Kemeny died unexpectedly on December 26, 1992.