Richard Stallman, Founder of the GNU Project

Richard Matthew Stallman, an American software freedom activist and computer programmer, is the person behind initiating the free software movement in October 1985. Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation and launched the GNU Project in September 1983 to create a free Unix-like operating system. In 1989, he co-founded the League for Programming Freedom.


1990s Stallman spent maximum time advocating for free software, and campaigning against digital rights management and software patents. He himself has developed some widely used software such as the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU Debugger, the original Emacs, and a number of tools in the GNU coreutils.

Born in 1953 to Daniel Stallman and Alice Lippman, Stallman first used computer at the IBM New York Scientific Center while he was a high school student. His strong numerical skills got him hired as the summer intern and he wrote his first numerical analysis program in Fortran. In 1974, Stallman graduated from Harvard earning a BA in Physics with distinction.
He has received several titles and honors including Honorary lifetime membership of the Chalmers University of Technology Computer Society; Exceptional merit award MacArthur Fellowship; Honorary doctorate from Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology, the University of Glasgow, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, National University of Córdoba and several other universities; United States National Academy of Engineering membership, and many more.

Richard Stallman quotes

If programmers deserve to be rewarded for creating innovative programs, by the same token they deserve to be punished if they restrict the use of these programs.
If you want to accomplish something in the world, idealism is not enough – you need to choose a method that works to achieve the goal.

The desire to be rewarded for one’s creativity does not justify depriving the world in general of all or part of that creativity.