Richard F. Clippinger

Born 1913, East Liberty, Ohio; computing laboratory staff member, Aberdeen Proving Ground, who converted the ENIAC to a stored program computer using its read-only hand-set function tables.

Education: PhD, mathematics, Harvard University, 1940.

Professional Experience: ballistic research laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, 1944-1952; Raytheon Computer Laboratory (later Datamatic Corporation, and later still EDP Division of Honeywell), 1952-1976.

Clippinger went to the Ballistic Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1944. There he invented and developed the closed-chamber firing range, which rivaled the wind tunnel for measuring forces on a supersonic model. At Aberdeen he also worked in the development of numeric methods for solving ordinary and partial differential equations on the ENIAC, EDVAC, and ORDVAC. In 1952 he joined the Raytheon Computer Laboratory, which became Datamatic Corporation in 1954 and the EDP division of Honeywell in 1956. He was in charge of software development for the Honeywell 800 family until 1959 when he supervised the development of the FACT business language compiler by Computer Sciences Corporation. He became Honeywell's representative to CODASYL when it was created.

He chaired the ANSI and ISO language-standardization committees, and retired from Honeywell in 1976. Currently he consults on doing color graphics on a Macintosh Quadra.



Clippinger, R.F., "Comments on the Meeting of October 14, 1959," Special Issue, Cobol: 25th Anniversary, Ann. Hist. Comp., Vol. 7, No. 4, 1985, pp. 327-329.

Significant Publications

Clippinger, R.F., "FACT-A Business Compiler: Description and Comparison with COBOL and Commercial Translator," in Goodman, R., ed., Ann. Rev. in Automatic Computing, Pergamon Press, New York, Vol. 2, 1961, pp. 231-292.


Dick Clippinger died 24 December 1997.

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