Ken Thompson

1943 - Today

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Kenneth Lane Thompson (born February 4, 1943) is an American pioneer of computer science. Thompson worked at Bell Labs for most of his career where he designed and implemented the original Unix operating system. He also invented the B programming language, the direct predecessor to the C programming language, and was one of the creators and early developers of the Plan 9 operating system. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Ken Thompson has received more than 1,589,765 page views. His biography is available in 55 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 53 in 2019). Ken Thompson is the 13th most popular computer scientist (up from 16th in 2019), the 1,225th most popular biography from United States (up from 1,276th in 2019) and the 6th most popular American Computer Scientist.

Ken Thompson is most famous for inventing the Unix operating system.

Memorability Metrics

  • 1.6M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 69.63

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 55

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 5.42

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.75

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Ken Thompsons by language


Among computer scientists, Ken Thompson ranks 13 out of 205Before him are Edsger W. Dijkstra, Niklaus Wirth, Lotfi A. Zadeh, John McCarthy, Linus Torvalds, and Edgar F. Codd. After him are Ray Kurzweil, Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Vint Cerf, George Dantzig, Larry Page, and Alan Kay.

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Among people born in 1943, Ken Thompson ranks 68Before him are Chevy Chase, John Major, Billie Jean King, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ralph M. Steinman, and Yohji Yamamoto. After him are Joni Mitchell, Lucio Dalla, Pervez Musharraf, Sam Shepard, Piet Keizer, and George Benson.

Others Born in 1943

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In United States

Among people born in United States, Ken Thompson ranks 1,225 out of 15,968Before him are Cesar Romero (1907), Alyson Hannigan (1974), Condoleezza Rice (1954), Virginia Apgar (1909), Sam Cooke (1931), and Ken Kesey (1935). After him are Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr. (1941), Larry Flynt (1942), Barry Nelson (1917), Vera Miles (1929), Grant Wood (1891), and Aaron Copland (1900).


Among computer scientists born in United States, Ken Thompson ranks 6Before him are Grace Hopper (1906), Dennis Ritchie (1941), Richard Stallman (1953), Donald Knuth (1938), and John McCarthy (1927). After him are Ray Kurzweil (1948), Andrew S. Tanenbaum (1944), Vint Cerf (1943), George Dantzig (1914), Larry Page (1973), and Alan Kay (1940).