Kay, Alan

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Portrait of Alan Kay (click to view image source)
Alan Kay
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Kay, Alan Gender: M
born on 17 May 1940 at 11:56 (= 11:56 AM )
Place Springfield MA, USA, 42n06, 72w35
Timezone EDT h4w (is daylight saving time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: McEvoy
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 26°34' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 03°46 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 22°20'


American entrepreneur, one of the fathers of Object Oriented Programming. His innovations directly contributed to the production of the Apple Macintosh, the first mass-marketed GUI-centric computer. Kay was instrumental in the early design of the ARPANet, which became the Internet, and his contributions changed the way in which the industry and the world think of computers.

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Kay’s family moved to Australia where he spent the first few years of his life, but with the advent of World War II, his parents returned to the United States. By the age of three, he was reading prolifically, and the gifted youngster continually pushed himself to learn more and expand his mind. He had read more than two hundred books by the time he entered school at age five, and he had formed strong opinions that he wasn’t afraid to express. Because his mother was a musician and artist, he was exposed to music throughout his childhood, and he sang in his grade school choir and played the guitar. After high school graduation, he enrolled at Bethany College in West Virginia, but in 1961, he was expelled when he protested their Jewish quota. He briefly worked as a professional jazz guitarist, gave guitar lessons in Denver, Colorado and tried his hand at composing. Eventually he joined the U.S. Air Force where his talents in the computer field were discovered. After leaving the military, he attended the University of Colorado where he earned degrees in mathematics and molecular biology in 1966. In 1969, he got his M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Utah.

In 1970, he became a professor at Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory where he began work on his Smalltalk programming language. His deep interest in education and children prompted him to begin work on a project deemed "KiddieKomp," which included a personal laptop computer specifically for children. In 1972, he began work at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center where he was a group leader. In 1979, Steve Jobs, Jeff Raskin and other pioneers of Apple Computers visited Xerox and recognized his work as the way of the future. In 1983, he left Xerox and became computer science chief at Atari, but in 1984, he went to work for Apple. During the 1990s, Kay, who once said "The best way to predict the future is to invent it," continued to work on designs that will effect computer technology for years to come.

Kay is an amateur classical pipe-organist.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Work : Start Business 1984 (Apple Computers)
  • Social : End a program of study 1961 (Expelled due to protest)
  • Social : End a program of study 1966 (Mathematics and molecular biology)
  • Social : End a program of study 1969 (M.S. in electrical engineering)
  • Work : New Career 1970 (Professor)
  • Work : New Job 1972 (Xerox Palo Alto Research Center)
  • Work : New Job 1983 (Atari)
  • Work : New Job 1984 (Apple)

Source Notes

McEvoy quotes B.C.


  • Vocation : Computer : Hardware engineer (Computer science chief)
  • Vocation : Business : Entrepreneur (Founder of Apple Computers)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Music teacher
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist (Guitarist)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Jazz
  • Vocation : Military : Military service (Air Force)
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Hobbies, games (Classical pipe-organist)
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Contributed to computer field)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate (Australia as a kid)
  • Traits : Mind : Child prodigy (Reading by age three)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Wealthy