IT History Society Blog

Herb Grosch

January 28th, 2010 by Paul Ceruzzi

I just received word that Herb Grosch passed away, on January 18. I wrote about him last April, as one of the original “wild ducks” at IBM.

Ronald-Reagan-Grosch

As was often said about him, Herb knew everybody–including Ronald Reagan, to whom he explained the workings of a General Electric computer. And everybody knew him. That is not entirely true, as a younger generation of scholars never had that opportunity. I count myself among the lucky ones to have known him, although not as well as those who were present at the creation of electronic computing.

Herb could be a real pain to have around–I have at least one or two stories that I could tell, from the time when he was a research fellow at the Smithsonian.  Now that he is gone, I really miss him.

We are planning to write an obituary for the IEEE Annals; in the meantime, take a look at the material gathered at Columbia University about him.  Here is some more.

So long, Herb.

2 Responses to “Herb Grosch”

  1. Allan Olley Says:

    Paul,
    I wanted to echo your sentiment. I was lucky to know him especially as a student writing a PhD about his one-time boss Wallace Eckert. We are all lucky that he left us his autobiography written in his own voice (found on the Columbia site). Also, the endless interviews he was always happy to give.
    The ACM have put up an obituary:
    http://cacm.acm.org/news/70203-computing-pioneer-herbert-grosch-dead-at-91/fulltext

    Yours Truly,
    Allan Olley

  2. Jeffery Stein Says:

    I was honored to know Herb during the 70s while working on various computer conferences.

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