Image credit: EYEVINE/NEW YORK TIMES
Evelyn Berezin is widely regarded as the creator of the world’s first word processor. Her company Redactron launched the Data Secretary in 1971. It was widely regarded as the world’s first data processor. Berezin, a pioneer of her time, is no more.
Berezin’s story is one of incredible achievements. She grew her company Redactron from nine employees to almost 500. BusinessWeek magazine named her as one of the top leaders in the United States when she started selling the Data Secretary back in 1976.
She didn’t just pioneer word processors. Berezin had earlier developed one of the very first computerized airline reservation systems. It matched customers and available seats. United Airlines tested the system in 1962.
It was a rival for the Sabre airline reservation system that was developed by American Airlines. The Computer History Museum mentions that the system had a one-second response time and worked for 11 years without suffering any central system failures. That is impressive by any yardstick.
She worked on several other computing projects which included an automated banking system, a weapons targeting calculator for the U.S. Defense Department, and even terminals for a horse-racing track which monitored the amount of money being bet on each animal.
The New York Times has confirmed that Berezin passed away last week in Manhattan. Godspeed.