Charles Geschke

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Charles Geschke

Charles M. "Chuck" Geschke (b. 1939) is best known as the co-founder with John Warnock of Adobe Systems Inc., the graphics and publishing software company, in 1982.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 11, 1939, Geschke attended Saint Ignatius High School and went on to earn an AB in classics and an MS in mathematics from Xavier University, as well as a PhD in computer science from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Prior to co-founding Adobe, Geschke and Warnock worked at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Geschke had started there in the early 1970s. Geschke formed and headed PARC's Imaging Sciences Laboratory in 1978 or 1980. Unable to convince Xerox management of the commercial value of Warnock's Interpress graphics language for controlling printing, the two left Xerox to start Adobe. At their new company, they developed an equivalent technology, PostScript, from scratch, and brought it to market.

On the morning of May 26, 1992, Geschke was kidnapped at gunpoint from the Adobe parking lot. He was held for ransom for four days while the FBI desperately searched for him. He was subsequently located by a FBI SWAT team in a rented house in Hollister, California, freed, and rushed back to his family. The two kidnappers were eventually sentenced to life terms in state prison.

Geschke retired as president of Adobe in 2000, shortly before his partner Warnock left as CEO.

Peter Geschke is the son of Charles Geschke and currently teaches high school science at Mission San Jose High school in Fremont, California.

References

  • Anonymous, "Silicon Valley Kidnapper Sentenced to Life," San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 10, 1994, at A21.
  • Anonymous, "F.B.I. Rescues a Kidnapped Businessman," New York Times, June 1, 1992, at B7.

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