Donald Ervin Knuth Named a Lifetime Achiever by Marquis Who's Who

Dr. Knuth has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in the computer sciences industry
  • <strong>Donald Ervin Knuth</strong>
    STANFORD, CA, August 11, 2017 -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to name Donald Ervin Knuth a Lifetime Achiever. An accomplished listee, Dr. Knuth celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Dr. Knuth bears the honorary moniker of "father of the analysis of algorithms," and is an authority of computer science perhaps most well known for the monolithic and ongoing book, "The Art of Computer Programming (TAOCP)" first published in 1968. He is also known for designing the popular computer typesetting system TeX and the companion language Metafont, as well as contributions to asymptotic notation and theoretical computer science. Dr. Knuth is currently a distinguished professor emeritus of Stanford University, and was honored in 1974 with the ACM Alan M. Turing Award for services to the advancement of computer science. He is the prolific author of 35 books in total, and also the musical composer of Fantasia Apocalyptica for pipe organ and video tracks.

In 1938, Dr. Knuth was born in Milwaukee to Ervin Henry and Louise Marie Knuth. He displayed an affinity for words very early on in a candy contest, which he handily won by composing approximately 4500 words out of the candy maker's chosen phrase. The judges' master list contained 2500 words. Dr. Knuth thought he would be a musician early in his career, but his aptitude for science did not go unnoticed and he received a scholarship in physics to attend the Case Institute of Technology, where he earned a BS summa cum laude, as well as an MS at the same time by faculty vote in 1960. The unprecedented decision was due to the fact that Dr. Knuth had discovered computers at Case in the form of an IBM 650, which he promptly decided to reprogram out of dissatisfaction with the factory compiler code; as a result, Dr. Knuth was featured in a Newsweek article about IBM. As early as 1962, he had already begun work on the first iteration of TAOCP, in itself a reaction to Dr. Knuth's perceived lack of adequate reference materials in the field of computer science.

Dr. Knuth completed a PhD in mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in 1963. He would go on to teach there for five years, accepting a post at Stanford in 1968 as professor of computer science. In 1977, he was named Fletcher Jones professor of computer science. Dr. Knuth has lectured as a visiting professor at the University of Oxford and the University of Oslo, and served as consultant to Burroughs Corp in Pasadena. He supported the National Security Agency as a researcher in cryptography for the Communications Research Division of the Institute for Defense.

In 1978, Dr. Knuth completed the first version of the TeX and Metafont systems, which enabled computer users across many different disciplines to express everything from mathematical formulae to Chinese characters on a screen and in finely printed books. He is the author of "Surreal Numbers," a novelette written to encourage creative research, as well as dizzying body of work that includes graphics, theology, professional journals, and recreational mathematics.

Dr. Knuth is a well-known personality in the field who continues to pay $2.56, or one hexadecimal dollar, for any typographical mistakes in his books, and a check from Dr. Knuth has become something of a collector's item. Three dozen prestigious institutions have awarded Dr. Knuth honorary degrees for his invaluable contributions to computer science, including Dartmouth, Harvard, Columbia, Brown, and Oxford Universities. His other notable awards include the 1996 Kyoto Prize, the 1970 National Medal of Science, the 1986 Steele Prize of the American Mathematical Society, the 1995 John von Neumann Medal, the 2011 Stanford University School of Engineering Hero Award, the 1993 and 1975 Lester R. Ford award from the Mathematics Association of America, and the 1971 Grace Murray Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery, the first ever given.

Dr. Knuth is a fellow of the Computer History Museum and the British Computer Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the French Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of London, and the American Guild of Organists. He was selected for inclusion in numerous volumes of Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who in the West, two volumes of Who's Who in American Education, two volumes of Who's Who in America: Student Version, and the 2000 volume of Who's Who in 20th Century America. Dr. Knuth has two children, and enjoys reading, writing, as well as playing the pipe organ.

In recognition of outstanding contributions to his profession and the Marquis Who's Who community, Dr. Knuth has been featured on the Marquis Who's Who Lifetime Achievers website. Please visit for more information about this honor.

About Marquis Who's Who :
Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at

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