Computer mouse maker Douglas Engelbart dies at 88

Summary:Following an initial debut at a computer conference in San Francisco in the 1968, the computer mouse became official in 1970.


Douglas Engelbart, technology industry pioneer and inventor of the computer mouse, has passed away, according to multiple reports. He was 88.

Engelbart died of kidney failure at his home in Atherton, Calif. on Wednesday, his wife Karen O’Leary Engelbart told The New York Times.

Born in Portland, Ore. in 1925, Engelbart obtained his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at Oregon State College and completed his graduate studies in the same field at the University of California, Berkeley.

He started at SRI International (previously known as the Stanford Research Institute) in 1957, where his work led to dozens of patents -- including one for the device he is most famous for developing.

After applying for a patent to cover the device in 1967, Engelbart first demoed an initial prototype of what we now consider the standard PC mouse peripheral at a computer conference in San Francisco in 1968.

U.S. Patent No. 3541541 was later granted in 1970.

Engelbart received numbers accolades and awards for his contributions to the technology industry, including the National Medal of Technology, the highest technology award in the United States, in 2000.

Engelbart is survived by his second wife, Karen, and his three daughters Gerda, Diana and Christina; a son, Norman; and nine grandchildren. His first wife, Ballard, died in 1997 after 47 years of marriage.

Screenshot via Google Patent Search

Topics: Tech Industry, Hardware


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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