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Commodore 64 pioneer Jack Tramiel dies at 83

Jack Tramiel's work sowed the seeds for what ultimately became the popular home and games machine in the early 1980s, the C64.

Arantxa Cedillo / Veras/photo by arantxa cedillo The Globe and Mail

Jack Tramiel, an industry pioneer who founded the company that created the Commodore 64 home PC and helped popularize computers, died on Sunday, at the age of 83.

Mr. Tramiel's son and physicist Leonard Tramiel confirmed his father's death.

Mr. Tramiel, the Polish-born son of Jewish immigrants who survived the infamous Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp, emigrated to the United States in the late 1940s and began his career maintaining typewriters for the U.S. army.

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He later started his own typewriter manufacturing company, Commodore International, before upgrading to calculators and moving out to Silicon Valley. His work sowed the seeds for what ultimately became the popular home and games machine in the early 1980s, the C64.

Mr. Tramiel was ousted after a stockholder dispute but he moved on to Atari, where he continued the gaming market dominance he first established with the C64, proving a spirited rival to his former company.

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