John Warnock


John Warnock
Death date
Associated organizations
Fields of study
IEEE Computer Society Computer Entrepreneur Award


John Warnock was born on October 6, 1940 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from Olympus High School in 1958, and attended University of Utah where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and philosophy, a Doctor of Philosophy degree in electrical engineering (computer science), and an honorary degree in science. At the University of Utah, his master's thesis was a proof of a theorem solving the Jacobson radical for row-finite matrices, and his doctoral dissertation on the Warnock algorithm for hidden surface determination in computer graphics.

After earning his Ph.D., Warnock was employed at Evans & Sutherland and Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center before he co-founded Adobe Systems Inc. with Charles Geschke in 1982. Warnock served as CEO of Adobe for sixteen years and was instrumental in the development of the Portable Document Format (PDF). Warnock was the recipient of the 2008 IEEE Computer Society Computer Entrepreneur Award.

Warnock died on August 19, 2023.