Commodore founder Jack Tramiel passes away at age 83
World-renowned computer legend and gaming pioneer Jack Tramiel has passed away at the age of 83, his family confirmed.
Although he will certainly be remembered for other reasons, especially by friends and family, Tramiel is probably best known to the rest of the world as the founder of Commodore International and an crucial figure in the home electronics industry.
Tramiel had a hard life growing up as he was a victim of Auschwitz in World War II. Rescued in April 1945 by American forces, Tramiel emigrated to the United States in November of 1947, where he joined the army and learned how to repair office equipment, including typewriters.
In 1982, Tramiel formed Commodore International which was responsible for the release of, among other things, the Commodore 64, Commodore 128, and Commodore Amiga. The Commodore 64 went on to become the best-selling home computer of all time, with an estimated 17 million units sold.
Despite his incredible work at Commodore, that was not his final stop in the home electronics industry. After resigning from Commodore in 1984, Tramiel bought the Consumer Division of Atari Inc. His day-to-day business operations helped keep Atari afloat during the video game crash of 1983.
“His legacy are the generations upon generations of computer scientists, engineers, and gamers who had their first exposure to high technology because of his affordable computers," said Martin Goldberg, a writer working on a book about the Atari brand.
Tramiel's most famous line, "We need to build computers for the masses, not the classes" still resonates among many today.