Dearly  Departed

Photo credit: Alicia Garcia Monedero

When I was a little girl, my father was an upwardly mobile business executive; our family moved around the country as his career advanced. The one constant in my life was The Wall Street Journal. I would read it from cover-to-cover, enthralled by the news of new companies, mergers and acquisitions, failures—whatever the big news of the days was. However, one of my favorite sections was the obituaries, typically scions of industry and academia who had achieved great things. Their stories fascinated me. To this day, I love reading the obituaries of celebrated individuals and the paths they took to professional heights. In Dearly Departed, I share my favorites. Check back often as I’m always wishing “Godspeed” to those who inspire me. I hope they inspire you, too.”

Laura B. Cardinal, Ph.D., SmartState® Endowed Chair and Director, Center for Innovation + Commercialization

MIT Researcher Fernando Corbató Removed Barriers Between People and Computers

I was flipping through The Wall Street Journal on my smart phone, waiting for the waitress to bring my breakfast. A name caught my eye: Fernando Corbató. The man who had made computing accessible to the masses back in the 1960s while a doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had died July 19. He was 93.