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Former Apple scientist Larry Tesler, who invented copy and paste, has died

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What you need to know

  • Larry Tesler, a former Apple employee, has died aged 74.
  • He was a computer scientist at the company from 1980 to 1997.
  • He invented cut, copy and paste.

Former Apple employee Larry Tesler, who created computerized cut, copy and paste, has passed away aged 74.

As reported by Cult of Mac, Tessler worked at the company from 1980 to 1997, working as VP of Applenet and Apple's Advanced Technology group. He also worked on the development of products such as Lisa and the Newton Messagepad.

Tesler joined Apple after leaving Xerox in 1980. Ironically, he is reported to have said that he thought of Apple as "primarily being a hobbyist computer company". CoM describes his time at Apple stating:

Nonetheless, Tesler started at Apple on July 15, 1980. "Apple was just in a couple of buildings at the time," he said. "At Xerox I would make an appointment with a VP, and that appointment would be three months or six months from now…. Nothing could get decided. At Apple, I'd walk a few doors down from my office and talk to Steve Jobs. If Steve wasn't in, I'd talk to his secretary and have a meeting with him four hours later or else I'd catch him in the hall. It was just a totally different situation in terms of the ability to reach people and to get decisions made."

Tesler worked with Apple until 1997, moving on to Amazon, and then later Yahoo.

Tesler developed cut, copy and paste whilst working at Xerox, and after moving to Apple the technology was propagated through the Lisa and then the Macintosh, in part thanks to the binding of the functionality to Apple's Command Key + X, C or V depending on which function you wanted to use.

Larry passed away on February 17, 2020.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.