Larry Tesler, inventor of ‘cut-copy-paste’ dies at 74

New York: “I have been mistakenly identified as the father of the graphical user interface for the Macintosh. I was not. However, a paternity test might expose me as one of its many grandparents,” once said, Mr. Larry Tesler, the scientist behind Cut-Copy-Paste and several such commands which made the computer easy to use.

The death of Lawrence Larry Tesler was announced on Twitter on Wednesday by “Xerox”, where he spent part of his career.

“The inventor of cut/copy & paste, find & replace, and more was former Xerox researcher Larry Tesler. Your workday is easier thanks to his revolutionary ideas. Larry passed away Monday, so please join us in celebrating him,” the company said in a tweet.

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Graduate of Stanford

A graduate of Stanford University, Tesler specialized in human-computer interaction, employing his skills at Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, and the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).

Idea of cut-copy-paste

“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 cut and paste command was reportedly inspired by the old-fashioned method of editing by cutting portions of printed text and affixing them elsewhere with adhesive.

Apple incorporated the idea

Apple incorporated the cut-copy-paste idea in software on the Lisa computer in 1983 and the original Macintosh that debuted the next year. The command then received popularity.

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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 the Chief scientist. He went on to establish an education startup and did stints in user-experience technology at Amazon and Yahoo.

“There is a very strong element of excitement, of being able to share what you have learned with the next generation,” Tesler told in an interview to BBC in 2012.

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