Scientist who saved your thesis by inventing ‘copy & paste’ has died


The man responsible for saving your butt in college has bid goodbye. Larry Tesler, the computer scientist behind the ‘cut, copy & paste’ command, passed away at the age of 74.

Xerox, whom Tesler worked for from 1973-1980, confirmed the news.


The ever-so-reliable command, which has saved tons of homework and thesis reports over the years, was inspired by the old-school practice of cutting portions of printed text and gluing them elsewhere. Think like one of those ‘creative’ ransom letters you’ll find in crime dramas.

‘Cut, copy & paste’ became mainstream when it was incorporated into Apple’s first personal computers, the Lisa and the original Macintosh, in the 1980s. Tesler, who was hired from Xerox by Steve Jobs himself, went on to work for Apple for 17 years.

After leaving Apple as its chief scientist, he went on to establish an education start-up as well as work for other tech companies such as Amazon and Yahoo. According to Silicon Valley’s History Museum, Tesler was an advocate of tech literacy, as he believed ‘computers should be for everyone’.

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