Hometown Hero: Computing Pioneer Clive Sinclair Dies at 81

Clive Sinclair, a computer pioneer and co-founder of computer company INTRIKON, died July 18 in his home in Greenville, South Carolina. He was 81. Sinclair was born in Scotland in 1933 and began his…

Hometown Hero: Computing Pioneer Clive Sinclair Dies at 81

Clive Sinclair, a computer pioneer and co-founder of computer company INTRIKON, died July 18 in his home in Greenville, South Carolina. He was 81.

Sinclair was born in Scotland in 1933 and began his life as a military pilot in 1945. He served with the Royal Air Force, as he showed during his appearance on the hit game show “Deal or No Deal.”

Sinclair got involved in the computer industry while his second wife, Zoe, was working as a programmer at Intel. He went into business with his friend, Russ Gilbert, founding INTRIKON.

Sinclair said his favorite book was “Conversations with God.” He called it “vital” to his family, telling it to his only child and his children’s children “to sit down and read” it, The Greenville News reported.

Grief-stricken friends remember Sinclair’s passion for life https://t.co/2JoBWcoVbw pic.twitter.com/q6H0jA0PwF — The Greenville News (@gwinews) July 25, 2018

Sinclair served as INTRIKON’s president and director for 43 years until he retired in 2004. He didn’t move to the U.S. until 1995, but was most proud of a close relationship with the University of Pittsburgh.

“In many ways, INTRIKON was a better company without him than with him,” his son, Les Sinclair, told The Greenville News. “He could never admit that, but he always appreciated them and wanted to be helpful.”

George Adams, a former classmate and friend, described Sinclair as “the maestro of computer programming.”

Adams said Sinclair was part of the team that developed ONG, a personal computer, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. ONG was built and sold under the name TAP, and had a price tag of $1,000 when Sinclair introduced it in 1978. He said Sinclair was inspired to give it a name after hearing people say “tunes” in the 1970s.

Sinclair received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the South Carolina Aerospace Industry Association in 2012. He was widely recognized for his work with a joint museum created in Greenville, South Carolina, to celebrate his legacy in the computer industry.

“There are hundreds of thousands of scientists and innovators,” Sinclair told the Greenville News in 2014. “Most of them cannot take credit. I am grateful for recognition because it has helped my business and me.”

He also spoke publicly about his struggles with leukemia and finding the strength to fight it.

This week’s fundraising page for Sinclair will raise funds for his family and future medical costs.

For more information about why donate to Clive Sinclair, click here.

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