- Category : Business-Entrepreneur
- Type : GP
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Contagion 2
American entrepreneur, one of the fathers of Object Oriented Programming. His innovations directly contributed to the production of the Apple Macintosh, the first mass-marketed GUI-centric computer. Kay was instrumental in the early design of the ARPANet, which became the Internet, and his contributions changed the way in which the industry and the world think of computers.
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Kay’s family moved to Australia where he spent the first few years of his life, but with the advent of World War II, his parents returned to the United States. By the age of three, he was reading prolifically, and the gifted youngster continually pushed himself to learn more and expand his mind. He had read more than two hundred books by the time he entered school at age five, and he had formed strong opinions that he wasn’t afraid to express. Because his mother was a musician and artist, he was exposed to music throughout his childhood, and he sang in his grade school choir and played the guitar. After high school graduation, he enrolled at Bethany College in West Virginia, but in 1961, he was expelled when he protested their Jewish quota. He briefly worked as a professional jazz guitarist, gave guitar lessons in Denver, Colorado and tried his hand at composing. Eventually he joined the U.S. Air Force where his talents in the computer field were discovered. After leaving the military, he attended the University of Colorado where he earned degrees in mathematics and molecular biology in 1966. In 1969, he got his M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Utah.
In 1970, he became a professor at Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory where he began work on his Smalltalk programming language. His deep interest in education and children prompted him to begin work on a project deemed "KiddieKomp," which included a personal laptop computer specifically for children. In 1972, he began work at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center where he was a group leader. In 1979, Steve Jobs, Jeff Raskin and other pioneers of Apple Computers visited Xerox and recognized his work as the way of the future. In 1983, he left Xerox and became computer science chief at Atari, but in 1984, he went to work for Apple. During the 1990s, Kay, who once said "The best way to predict the future is to invent it," continued to work on designs that will effect computer technology for years to come.
Kay is an amateur classical pipe-organist.