Written by CNN Staff
A Silicon Valley visionary and one of the “fathers of the technology revolution,” Jay Last died Tuesday at his home in Los Altos, California, one of his sons, Graham Last, told CNN.
A pioneer in his field, Last grew up during the tumultuous era that took shape in the late 1940s and early 1950s, where competition and innovation was on the rise in Silicon Valley. His success as a businessman and entrepreneur has earned him the moniker “the rebel with a cause” — a moniker based in part on his stance against the Vietnam War.
He founded Creative Computing in 1967 with Bill Moser, and later, the Web Resources Group. Together, they created a software platform that would ultimately be widely adopted by computing companies around the world.
But it was in designing computing platforms that Last earned his reputation.
“As individuals, each did not have a great deal of technical expertise, but they did know marketing,” wrote Kevin Kelly in his book, “The Future is History, Myths and Legends.” “Each understood that to really get ahead in the business of selling software, you had to get people to use it. Jay made the tie the default form of retailing, positioning his main selling point as the incentive for use.”
A pioneer in the field of interactive programming, Last was a driving force in the 1980s when the computer industry, nicknamed “the MIT program,” revolutionized TV with the introduction of personal computers.