Bob Overton (Bo) Evans

Born August 19, 1927, Grand Island, Neb.; influential manager within IBM committed to compatibility, a concept which led to the IBM System/360 family of machines.

Education: BEE, Iowa State University, 1949.

Professional Experience: electrical operating engineer, Northern Indiana Public Service Co., Hammond, Ind., 1949-1951; IBM Corp.: staff member, 1951-1962, vice president, Data Systems Division, 1962-1964, president, Federal Systems Division, 1965-1969, Systems Development Division, 1970-1974, Systems Communications Division, 1975-1977, IBM vice president, engineering, programming and technology, 1977-1984; general partner, Hambrecht and Quist Venture Partners, 1984-1988; senior vice president, managing partner, Technology Strategies & Alliances, 1988-present.

Honors and Awards: Distinguished Public Service Award, NASA, 1969; Meritorious Service Award, Armed Forces Communication and Electrical Association, 1969; member, National Academy of Engineering, 1970; fellow, IEEE, 1971; Professional Achievement Citation in Engineering, Iowa State University, 1973; National Security Agency Citation, 1975; Edwin H. Armstrong Medal, IEEE Communications Society, 1984; National Medal of Technology, 1985; Distinguished Achievement Citation, Iowa State University, 1991; Computer Pioneer, IEEE Computer Society, 1992.

"Bo" joined IBM in 1951 as a junior engineer working on the IBM-701 (Defense Calculator), and had various responsibilities through 1962 when he was appointed vice president for the Data Systems Division, developing the System/360. In 1961, only 10 years after joining IBM, he almost single-handedly persuaded management to abandon a less ambitious product plan for one that resulted in the IBM System/360. He demonstrated a model of the IBM System/360 on April 7, 1964, the day the system was announced. In 1985, Bo Evans, Fred Brooks, and Eric Bloch received the National Medal of Technology at a White House ceremony for their work in developing the IBM System/360, described as "revolutionizing the industry." [Based on Pugh, Emerson W., Lyle R. Johnson, and John H. Palmer, IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1991.]

QUOTATION

"I am the luckiest person in the world to have worked at IBM during the time of its entry into electronic computing, and to be part of the computer industry in those most exciting years."

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Biographical

Evans, B. O., et al., "Discussion of the SPREAD Report," Ann. Hist. Comp., Vol. 5, No. 4, 1983, pp. 27-44.

Evans, B. O., "System/360: A Retrospective View," Ann. Hist. Comp., Vol. 8, No. 2,1986, pp. 155-179.

UPDATES

Bo Evans died Sept 20, 2004. (MRW, 2012)

PDF version

Original content Copyright © 1995 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
New content Copyright © 2013-2017 by the IEEE Computer Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced or redistributed without the express written permission of the copyright holder.