Russell Kirsch, inventor of the pixel, dies in Oregon at age 91

Russell Kirsch, a pc scientist credited with inventing the pixel and scanning the world’s first electronic photograph, died Aug. 11 at his home in Portland at age 91.

Born in Manhattan in 1929, Kirsch was the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Hungary. Educated at the Bronx Higher College of Science, New York University, Harvard and MIT, Kirsch labored for five a long time as a investigation scientist at the U.S. Countrywide Bureau of Standards (now the National Institutes of Science and Technological know-how).

“My dad, he was a tremendous curious male, often inquiring concerns,” reported his son, Walden Kirsch, who performs at Intel in Oregon. “He was an iconoclast. When people today reported you just cannot go there or you can’t do that, he did.”

In 1957, Kirsch created a modest, 2-by-2-inch black-and-white electronic image of Walden as an infant – among the the initially visuals ever scanned into a personal computer, using a device designed by his exploration team. Lifetime magazine highlighted the picture in a 2003 book, “100 Photos That Modified the Earth,” and it is now in the Portland Art Museum’s selection.

“Anyone included with desktops will inform you how impressive it is for creativeness,” Kirsch explained to The Oregonian in 2007.

Russell Kirsch with the picture of his son, Walden, scanned into the world’s 1st digital scanner in 1957.Oregonian file photograph/2007

Kirsch moved from Maryland to Oregon in 2001. He suffered from dementia but remained a normal at Ken’s Artisan Bakery in Northwest Portland for several several years. In the 1960s, Kirsch’s investigate crew did pioneering work in synthetic intelligence and Walden Kirsch stated he regrets his father was not able to take pleasure in how common that know-how has turn out to be.

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“At that time that was just a bizarre detail,” Walden Kirsch explained. “He was out in the forefront, numerous, quite a few many years just before it was a detail.”

Russell Kirsch is survived by his wife of 65 several years, Joan, by youngsters Walden, Peter, Lindsey and Kara, and by four grandchildren.

— Mike Rogoway | [email protected] | twitter: @rogoway | 503-294-7699

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