Jacob Goldman, Founder Of The Company That Inspired Steve Jobs, Dies At Age 90

Jacob Goldman, Founder Of The Company That Inspired Steve Jobs, Dies At Age 90

Many have called Steve Jobs the father of modern computing, but some would argue that the true credit goes to Jacob Goldman, founder of Xerox PARC. Under Goldman’s guidance, Xerox become responsible for the technology that inspired Steve Jobs to create computers like the Lisa.

The New York Times is reporting that Jacob Goldman passed away this week at the age of 90. He was Xerox’s chief scientist and founder of the Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto Research Center — the very place Jobs took his team in December of 1979 to get a demonstration of the technology that drove him to create the first successful personal computer.

The research lab Goldman founded in the 1970s was responsible for many technological breakthroughs that have influenced Apple and its competition, including the graphical user interface, laser printing, and the Ethernet office network.

While Xerox PARC pioneered the age of modern computing in many ways, it failed to implement its inventions successfully. In Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder was quoted as saying that “Xerox could have owned the entire computer industry.” The company failed to execute its ideas, and Jobs told Xerox employees that they were “sitting on a gold mine” before he took the ideas at Xerox PARC, built upon those ideas, and created a successful computer company that is now valued at over $370 billion.

Apple would not be what it is today if it wasn’t for Jacob Goldman.

  • Howie Isaacks

    Great story, but neither the Mac, or the Lisa was the “first successful personal computer”. I think that honor belongs to the Apple II.  Lisa was a dismal failure due to its high price, and the Mac didn’t really become a major success until desktop publishing was born.  

  • Vishal Rao B

    Every in the world gets inspired from some one or some thing. But Success doesn’t come easy as you get inspired by some video. you need to put lot of effort in it to be successful. Many people see videos to lose weight. But how many of then are Successful.

    Kudos To STEVEN JOBS.

  • Tom Harnish

    Wonder who the woman in the bobby socks is and what her impact on the computer world was. Thought at first it might be Grace Hopper, who had a huge role, but she was always on the East Coast, far as I know.

  • gareth edwards

    Another great person gone.  It’s nice to see these early pioneers are not forgotten though. They are the shoulders on which the next generation stand.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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