Richard Brodie

"It made such a difference in the creative process to be able to edit my words easily that I knew word-processing was a very, very important innovation."

November 10, 1959
Current Place
Seattle, Washington, United States of America


Richard Reeves Brodie is an American computer programmer and author. He was the original creator of Microsoft Word. He graduated from Newton South High School, and entered Harvard College in the fall of 1977 concentrating in applied mathematics with an emphasis on computer science. Brodie left Harvard after his sophomore year and moved to Palo Alto, CA to work for Xerox Corporation's Advanced Systems Division (ASD). There he met Charles Simonyi and helped develop the Bravo X word processor for the Alto computer. Simonyi became a mentor to Brodie while at Xerox. In 1981, Simonyi hired Brodie as Microsoft's 77th employee, and a founding member of the Microsoft Application Division. Brodie distinguished himself at Microsoft by creating the first version of Microsoft Word in less than seven months. In addition to primary authorship of Microsoft Word, Brodie wrote Microsoft's first C compiler, the original version of Notepad, and Word for the IBM PC Jr. Brodie's success as a programmer brought him to the attention of Bill Gates, who made Brodie his technical assistant in 1983. Brodie's primary accomplishment as Gates's assistant was the management of the Cashmere project, which would be released as Word for Windows. Brodie left Microsoft after the company went public in 1986, but returned in 1991 as Chief Software Designer and Lead Developer of the Omega project, which would be released as Microsoft Access in 1992.

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