Singapore markets closed

Larry Tesler: Apple employee who invented cut, copy and paste, dies aged 74

Louise Hall
Larry Tesler met Steve Jobs in 1979 and worked for Apple: Wikimedia

Larry Tesler, the mind behind cut, copy and paste has died aged 74.

Tesler played a key role in the development of a range of Apple products, serving as VP of AppleNet and Apple’s Advanced Technology Group.

Prior to this the computer scientist had a pioneering career in technology.

After studying the subject at Stanford University he went on to work for the legendary R&D facility, Xerox PARC.

However, Tesler's crowning achievement was the invention of cut, copy and paste, a function that is now taken for granted in modern computers.

Fuelled by a passion for modeless computing, Tesler helped to create a system in which the user doesn’t have to switch constantly between different input states.

He met Steve Jobs in 1979 when Apple came to look around the Xerox PARC facility and was impressed by his mastery of seemingly every aspect of the computer industry.

The systems at PARC would later inspire the creation of the Macintosh, the first successful mass-market personal computer with a graphical user interface.

“We were technologists with very logical minds, but Steve also knew about marketing, distribution, finance – every aspect of the business you could think of,” Tesler said in an interview in 2011.

A year after meeting Jobs, Tesler started at Apple working on the Apple Lisa Project, an ill-fated first attempt at a business computer.

Despite being a comparative failure at the time, the Lisa was an enormously significant step for computer technology and advancement of human-computer interaction.

After leaving Apple, Tesler worked for Amazon and Yahoo and for the past decade freelanced as a technology consultant.

Tesler is fondly regarded as an encapsulation of hippie and high-tech culture that helped create Apple as a company.

Read more

Steve Jobs 'cast spells' to make products like iPhone, Bill Gates says

Apple’s new cheaper phone 'to arrive soon' despite coronavirus

Apple delivers record sales and rising profits