The New York Times is reporting that John W. Backus, who led the team at IBM that developed the Fortran programming language, died Saturday at the age of 82. Since its release in 1957, Fortran has widely come to be considered to be a turning point in the history of computer software, with Backus himself receiving the ACM Turing Award in 1977 and the Draper Prize in 1993 for his work. Backus also invented the so-called "Backus-Naur form," which became the de facto standard for defining formal language syntax. The exact cause of his death is apparently not known, with Backus's family only saying they believe it to be the result of old age.

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Fortran creator John W. Backus passes away at age 82