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Pioneer who invented 'cut, copy and paste' for computers dies at 74

Tesler was a computing pioneer in a career that spanned more than five decades and included stints at Xerox, Apple, Yahoo and Amazon. Photo courtesy <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Larry_Tesler_and_Whisper_(1).jpeg">Wikimedia Commons</a>
Tesler was a computing pioneer in a career that spanned more than five decades and included stints at Xerox, Apple, Yahoo and Amazon. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Larry Tesler, a former chief scientist for Apple and the man who invented the concepts for computers to cut, copy and paste, died this week. He was 74.

Born in New York City in 1945, Tesler eventually studied computer science at Stanford University before working in the school's artificial intelligence research lab in the late 1960s. He moved to Xerox in 1973, where he devised the time-saving concepts to cut, copy and paste in computer systems.

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"Your workday is easier thanks to his revolutionary ideas," Xerox tweeted Thursday to honor Tesler.

Tesler left Xerox and joined a then-young Apple Computer in 1980 -- making the move, he said later, because Apple founder Steve Jobs was clearly innovating toward personal computers, whereas Xerox had still considered itself a copier company. He became Apple's chief scientist and remained there until 1997.

Tesler also promoted "modeless" computing, a concept under which computers operate in a single mode rather than switch between various user-defined modes. His advancements for cut, copy and paste were later heavily utilized by Apple's Macintosh personal computer in the early 1980s.

In the late 1990s, Tesler left Apple to co-found Stagecast Software, an application developer designed to teach children programming concepts. In the 2000s, he became Amazon's vice president of shopping before moving to Yahoo as its vice president of user experience and design. Years later, he was a product fellow at genetic-testing company 23andMe and performed consulting work.

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