Larry Tesler, the computing pioneer behind cut, copy and paste, has died at the age of 74. 

The IT wiz was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1945, and later studied computer science at Stanford University in California. Tesler’s prime focus was always human-computer interaction (aka, user interface design), putting his skill-set to work at the likes of Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, and the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).

PARC announced his death on Wednesday, February 19, with the company praising Tesler’s ‘revolutionary ideas’. If you use a computer day-to-day, it’d hard to imagine living without cut, copy and paste.

Creating the idea

The cut and paste command was reportedly inspired by old-fashioned editing that involved actually cutting portions of printed text and affixing them elsewhere with adhesive.

“Tesler created the idea of ‘cut, copy, & paste’ and combined computer science training with a counterculture vision that computers should be for everyone,” the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley tweeted on Wednesday.

The command was made popular by Apple after being incorporated in software on the Lisa computer in 1983 and the original Macintosh that debuted the next year.

Tesler worked for Apple in 1980 after being recruited from Xerox by late co-founder Steve Jobs.

Tesler spent 17 years at Apple, rising to chief scientist. He went on to establish an education startup and did stints in user-experience technology at Amazon and Yahoo.

The cause of Tesler’s death has not been released. RIP.

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