Adobe co-founder ‘John Warnock’ dies at the age of 82

The tech world mourns the loss of Dr. John Warnock, the co-founder of Adobe Systems Inc., who left an indelible mark on the industry with groundbreaking software like Illustrator and the PDF format. Dr. Warnock’s passing was confirmed on Sunday, August 19, 2023, and news of his death has left a void in the hearts of many.

The sad announcement was made through X, formerly known as Twitter, where Adobe expressed its condolences, saying,

“John’s brilliance and technology innovations changed the world. It is a sad day for the Adobe community and the industry for which he has been an inspiration for decades.”

While the specific cause of his passing wasn’t disclosed, the statement revealed that he was surrounded by his family during his final moments.


Co-founding Adobe in 1982 alongside Charles Geschke, whom he had met while working at Xerox, John Warnock embarked on a journey that would shape the digital landscape. Their collaboration birthed PostScript, which laid the foundation for the company’s success. Later, they introduced the revolutionary PDF, a format that transcended software, hardware, and operating system boundaries, allowing seamless document sharing and presentation.

It is with profound sadness we share the passing of our beloved co-founder, Dr. John Warnock. One of the greatest inventors of our generation, his indomitable spirit and innovations leave an enduring impact on Adobe and the world. Rest in peace, John. ❤️

— Adobe (@Adobe) August 20, 2023

For the initial two years, Warnock served as the company’s president and then transitioned to CEO for the subsequent sixteen years. His visionary leadership propelled Adobe’s ascent to becoming a multimillion-dollar software giant. In 2000, he stepped down from the CEO role and followed suit as CTO in 2001. He continued to contribute as the chairman of the board until January 2017, leaving an enduring legacy.

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News of Dr. Warnock’s passing prompted an outpouring of tributes from netizens across the globe. Many shared personal anecdotes of their interactions with the computer scientist, while others recognized the profound impact of his innovations on technology and creativity. As the tech community reflects on his remarkable journey, his legacy continues to influence generations to come.

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