Computing pioneer Evelyn Berezin died at 93 this week. She was most known as the designer of the first true word-processing computer. But she designed many other innovative computing systems and helmed Redactron Corporation, a company that helped transform offices by producing and distributing her word-processor device.
Born to Jewish immigrants from Russia in New York City in 1925, Berezin earned a BA in physics at NYU before working throughout the 1950s and 1960s designing early computing systems. She had become interested in physics after reading her brother's science-fiction periodicals.
In the earlier years of her career, she worked amidst a wave of innovation and new possibilities that came with the arrival of transistors. Among her early accomplishments was an airline reservations system for United Airlines, which "served 60 cities throughout the United States with a one-second response time and with no central system failures in 11 years of operation," according to the Computer History Museum.