I’ve learned that laser printer inventor Gary Starkweather passed away Dec. 26, 2019, at age 81. According to his obituary in the New York Times, the cause of his death was leukemia.
In recent years, I was in touch with him several times, and he was always engaging and accommodating. His invention made life a little easier for the world’s office workers, and it contributed mightily to my career, as I’ve spent parts of four decades doing public relations and marketing work promoting laser printers.
One of my last exchanges with him occurred last fall, sharing my post about him on this blog and congratulating him on the 50thanniversary of his laser printing invention. I don’t think he’d mind if I shared this excerpt from his response:
“Thanks so much. It is hard to believe that this much time has gone by. Now when I visit Doctor’s offices (not that infrequent anymore), I have to smile when I see the laser printer emit my papers.”
And next time I see paper churning out of a laser printer, I’ll think of you. Rest in peace Gary Starkweather.
The photo above shows Dover, one of the early laser printers Gary Starkweather developed at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. (Photo courtesy Xerox Corporation)