Unsung Jedi knight

There are two copies of the 1978 anniversary photo of “Iverson’s Six” or the IVSIX as they were called.  The well circulated official version with Richard Lathwell, Kenneth E. Iverson, Roger D. Moore, Adin Falkoff, Phil Abrams & Larry Breed.  And the outtake version, with these same guys… with another guy, caught, most certainly by not accident, Jon McGrew.

Jon has been there all along.  In fact, he is responsible for a wonderful collection of photographs, now a decade old of quite a few APL celebrities.

His Eulogy for Ken at the Toronto memorial in 2004 makes a very good story.

John McGrew @ KEI Memorial Video by Catherine – MySpace Video.

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2 Responses to “Unsung Jedi knight”


  • “Unsung” may be a good description for Jon. He’s done a lot for APL behind the scenes. Probably most visible was his work as production editor for Quote Quad (with Ray Polivka as editor). He got to exercise his skills in typography (his business is Type Matters), but what impressed me was his determination to make sure everything in Quote Quad was correct. I hate to think how many hours he must have spent on the phone with authors to get everything right.

    On the SIGAPL board he made sure attention was paid to the Iverson Award.

    Inside IBM he and Ray Polivka organized the APL Internal Technical Liaison (APL ITL) meetings twice a year for many years. These brought together IBMers from around the world to learn about APL. Typical McGrew story: When the APL ITL was in San Jose shortly after IBM had opened its Almaden Research Center I was assigned to local arrangements. I called up the room-assigning people at Almaden and was told the auditorium would not be available that week. I believed them. Jon, quite rightly, thought the ITL ought to be at Almaden and did some more calling. He found that the auditorium was simply being held in reserve in case a visit at the time by the CEO might need it. He did some more calling, and made arrangements for the ITL to get the auditorium.

    Hope you get to say “hello” to Jon in New York tomorrow.

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    This is a terrific contribution, Curtis. That’s the spirit!

    It was lovely to see Jon on Tuesday in New York and because I had not be connected to cyberspace for over 24 hours at the time, it was a complete surprise!

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