Larry Tesler: Pioneer of the digital 'cut, copy and paste' operations, dies at age 74
The “cut, copy, paste” operation went on to become an indispensable for both text editors and entire computer operating systems.
February 20, 2020 / 05:09 PM IST
Larry Tesler might not be the most well-known figure in the tech community, but he was instrumental in making the personal computer easier to learn and use. The former Apple computer scientist died earlier this week at age 74.
Tesler was responsible for creating some of the world’s most familiar user interface tools, including the frequently used “cut, copy and paste” and the “find and replace” commands. Tesler pioneered the concept during his time at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in the 1970s. The “cut, copy, paste” operation went on to become an indispensable for both text editors and entire computer operating systems.
Tesler was born in 1945 in the Bronx, New York City. He studied at Stanford University in California. After graduating, he specialised in user interface design. In 1973, Tesler joined the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where he created Gypsy text editor with Tim Mott. He first created the modeless method for copying and moving parts of text in Gypsy.
Tesler joined Apple in 1980 and worked at the company until 1997. At his time at Apple, Tesler worked on several projects including the Macintosh, QuickTime, List and Newton, a precursor to the iPhone. After leaving Apple, he worked at an education software startup, Stagecast and also spent time at Yahoo, Apple, and 23andMe.