Adobe Pioneer Charles Geschke, Co-Developer of the PDF, Dead at 81


The co-founder of Adobe and one of the co-developers behind the popular (and revolutionary) PDF file format, Dr. Charles Geschke, has died at the age of 81 according to a press release from the company.

Photo by Tranmautritam from Pexels.

Striking out with a fellow employee of Xerox, Dr. John Warnock, Geschke was Adobe’s chief operating officer from December 1986 to July 1994 and then the company’s President from April 1989 to April 2000. Geschke served as chairman of the board alongside Warnock from September 1997 until January 2017 and as a regular board member from that point until April 2020 after which he assumed the title of board member emeritus. He was the recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the Computer Entrepreneur Award from the IEEE Computer Society, and the American Electronics Association Medal of Honor, Adobe reports in their press release on his death.

CEO Shantanu Narayen commented on Geschke’s death in a companywide email, writing:

“As co-founders of Adobe, Chuck and John Warnock developed groundbreaking software that has revolutionized how people create and communicate. Their first product was Adobe PostScript, an innovative technology that provided a radical new way to print text and images on paper and sparked the desktop publishing revolution. Chuck instilled a relentless drive for innovation in the company, resulting in some of the most transformative software inventions, including the ubiquitous PDF, Acrobat, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Photoshop.”

He continued:

“As much as his inventions changed the world, it is his focus on people, purpose and culture that has profoundly impacted each of us at Adobe. As he always said, Chuck wanted to create a company where he would want to work. He believed that good ideas come from everywhere in the company and that it’s not only what we do but how we do it that matters most. He dedicated much of his time and talent to various philanthropies and community organizations throughout his lifetime.”

How do you use Adobe products in your photography? How long have you used Adobe? Let us know your thoughts on Adobe’s history and where you think the company is heading in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out some of our other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.


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