Larry Tesler: Man who invented "cut, copy and paste" is dead

Yolanda Curtis
February 25, 2020

Computer scientist Larry Tesler, who was an instrumental figure at Apple in the '80s and '90s, died on Monday at the age of 74, according to Apple Insider.

THE name Larry Tesler may not ring a bell to many, but his creation has become one of the most-used user interfaces in the computer industry. He also helped to invent the ability to type or paste, find & replace text into a form that can be edited before and after searching among other notable contributions.

Following his death, his former company, Xerox, posted a tribute to him on Twitter, thanking him for his "revolutionary ideas".

According to, Tesler was born in 1945 in NY and studied computer science at Stanford.

Tesler's major speciality was on user interface design, the aspect that focuses on making computer user-friendly for everyone.

A graduate of Stanford University, Mr Tesler specialised in human-computer interaction, employing his skills at Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, and the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).

He spent 17 years at Apple, becoming chief scientist. His skillset would go to work with big corporations like Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, and more. The cut and paste command is reportedly inspired by old-time editing which mainly involved cutting portions of printed text and fixing them elsewhere with paste.

Larry's career in computer science actually took off with Xerox, but he would soon move onto Apple alongside Steve Jobs in the 1980s.

Tesler was then offered to work with the giant tech company, where he was one of the key figures behind the development of Macintosh, Quicktime, Lisa and Newton.

"There's a very strong element of excitement, of being able to share what you've learned with the next generation".

He is the man behind the "cut, copy and paste" commands which have made the use of personal computers easy.

If you're a regular user of the Internet, a function that you should be extremely familiar with is the Copy-Cut-Paste.

However, he was best known for creating the cut-copy-paste computer command during his time at Xerox in the 1970s.

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