The industry has lost another one of its pioneers. Jack Tramiel, founder of Commodore, passed away on Sunday at the age of 83. He left behind a wife, three sons, and their families.
Tramiel in 2004. Source: Commodore.
I was too young to spend much time with Tramiel’s Commodore 64, but its impact is hard to ignore. The system was a best seller and remains firmly ingrained in popular culture 30 years after its release. The Amiga was also hugely significant, though it came out after Tramiel’s departure from the company.
Tramiel himself led a rather extraordinary life. He was born in Poland in 1928, survived the Auschwitz death camp, and emigrated to the United States after World War II. According to a Fortune Magazine piece posted on the Commodore website, Tramiel joined the U.S. Army in 1948 and was put in charge of office equipment repair. He used those skills to open a repair shop in the Bronx. By 1955, he had moved to Toronto and founded Commodore.
The rest, as they say, is history.