Charles M. Geschke

Charles M. Geschke
Charles M. Geschke
Cleveland, OH, USA
Associated organizations
Adobe Systems
Entrepreneur of the Year Award, ACM Software Systems Award


Charles M. Geschke has had a tremendous impact on the software industry, both as a technical innovator and as a visionary business leader. Born on 11 September 1939, in Cleveland, Ohio, Charles M. Geschke received his B.A. and M.A. from Xavier University, in 1962 and 1963, respectively. He received his Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1972.

Co-founder of Adobe Systems, now one of the world’s leading software suppliers, Dr. Geschke has helped spark a graphics revolution. He lead a team to design and implement PostScript, an interpretive programming language for describing the appearance of a printed page. This technology has transformed the worldwide printing industry from a manual and mechanical process into a fully automated, electronic workflow. Other Adobe products such as Acrobat, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Premiere, have had a major influence on the design and electronic distribution of information on the Web. Dr. Geschke retired from his operating role as President of Adobe Systems in March of 2000, but continues as co-chairman.

Prior to the founding of Adobe Systems, Dr. Geschke worked at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where he helped design and develop the Mesa programming language and machine architecture, formed the Imaging Sciences Laboratory at PARC to focus research on computer graphics and electronic printing systems, and was a leader in the design of Interpress, a device independent printing protocol.

Dr. Geschke is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He has been honored for his technical and managerial achievements by numerous organizations, including Carnegie-Mellon University, the National Computer Graphics Association, and the Rochester Institute of Technology. He also received the 1991 Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was a co-recipient of the 1989 ACM Software Systems Award.

Dr. Geschke is on several advisory, business, and non-profit boards, including the Board of Governors of the San Francisco Symphony, the computer-science advisory boards of Carnegie-Mellon University and Princeton University, the Board of Trustees of the University of San Francisco, the Board of Directors of the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, and the Board of Directors of Rambus, Inc.