Charles “Chuck” Geschke, a co-founder of Adobe who helped develop the PDF, has died at age 81, the company said in a statement.
“This is a huge loss for the entire Adobe community and the technology industry, for whom he has been a guide and hero for decades,” Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said in an email to Adobe employees.
”As co-founders of Adobe, Chuck and John Warnock developed groundbreaking software that has revolutionized how people create and communicate,” Narayen said. “Chuck instilled a relentless drive for innovation in the company, resulting in some of the most transformative software inventions, including the ubiquitous PDF, Acrobat, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Photoshop.”
Geschke also backed the creation of the Tech Museum of Innovation (now Tech Interactive) and, along with Warnock, received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama in 2009. He also reached headlines in 1992 when he was kidnapped and held for ransom for four days before his rescue.
Geschke leaves behind his wife, three children and seven grandchildren. Adobe, meanwhile, still has a major influence on the tech world and developed some of its most important products while Geschke held leading roles, including Photoshop. In that light, his legacy could endure long after his passing.