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As the inventor of the PDF, Brother John Warnock, Utah ’62, transformed the way the world shared information. He continued to shape the direction of Adobe Systems, Inc. after co-founding it in 1982, during which came innovations such as Acrobat and Photoshop.

He passed away surrounded by family on Saturday, August 19, at age 82.

Dr. Warnock co-founded Adobe Systems, Inc., with Dr. Charles Geschke, building the company from a small start-up to one of the world’s largest and most recognized software companies. Warnock has worked closely with Geschke for more than two decades, pioneering the development of graphics, publishing, and web and electronic document technologies that have revolutionized the field of publishing and visual communication.

Warnock’s entrepreneurial success has been chronicled by some of the country’s most influential business and computer industry publications, and he has received numerous awards for technical and managerial achievement. In addition to receiving the Oxford Cup in 2012, the Fraternity’s highest order of professional achievement, a partial list of his awards includes:

  • University of Utah Distinguished Alumnus Award (1995)
  • Software Systems Award (1989, Association for Computing Machinery) Edwin H. Land Medal (2000, Optical Society of America)
  • Bodley Medal (2003, Bodleian Library at Oxford University)
  • Lovelace Medal (2004, British Computer Society)
  • Medal of Achievement (2006, AeA)
  • Computer Entrepreneur Award (2008, IEEE Computer Society)
  • United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2009)

Serving as president of Adobe during its first two years, Warnock served as chief executive officer for the next 16. Retiring as CEO in 2000, Warnock served as co-chairman of the board, along with Geschke, where he continued to shape the direction of the Fortune 500 company.

May Brother John Warnock, No. 1019 on the official roll of the Gamma Beta Chapter of Beta Theta Pi, rest in peace. Forever in ___kai___.

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