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Brian Howard 1984

Brian Howard, circa 1984

Brian Douglas Howard (March 23, 1944February 1, 2010) was one of the original members of the Macintosh development team at Apple Computer.

Early life[]

Howard was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and grew up in Norman, Oklahoma, where his father Robert was a professor of physics at the University of Oklahoma and his mother Jane was a classical pianist. He also had two sisters, Kathleen and Eileen.[1]


Brian received a National Merit Scholarship and attended Stanford University, earning a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1967. He was also an accomplished musician and was a member of the Stanford Renaissance Wind Band and Stanford Early Music Singers. He married Lynne Toribara and had a stepdaughter Mariko.[1]


1981 Macintosh prototype at Computer History Museum

The first clear Macintosh prototype, assembled by Howard with Dan Kottke.

Brian Howard and Jef Raskin first collaborated through Bannister and Crun, a two-person technical consulting firm, where they were contracted to produce a manual for Steve Wozniak's Integer BASIC at Apple Computer.[2]

Apple Computer[]

Apple was pleased with the results of Raskin and Howard's work and hired them in January 1978 as employees #31 and #32, respectively, to form the company's new publications department. In 1979, Raskin submitted a proposal for an information appliance computer. Upon approval, Howard was the first staff member to join Raskin's new Macintosh team.[2] By 1981, Howard and Dan Kottke hand assembled the first clear Macintosh prototype with an Apple II floppy drive.[3] His signature is among those molded into the case of the original Macintosh 128K.[4]

Brian Howard and PowerBook Duo

Howard with a PowerBook Duo and Duo Dock.

Though Raskin and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs both left the Macintosh division and the company, Howard remained at Apple Computer and later joined the portable computing division. Andy Hertzfeld credited Howard and Bob Bailey with engineering the best of the Macintosh models.[2][5] Howard was recognized as a Distinguished Engineer, Scientist or Technologist (DEST) for his work.[1]

By the time Howard passed away from cancer in February 2010, he had become one of the longest continuously-serving employees of Apple, surpassed only by Chris Espinosa.[2][6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Memorial concert for Brian Howard, early employee of Apple Computer Inc., The Almanac. 2010-02-18.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Eulogy for Brian by Andy Hertzfeld, Folklore. 2010-02.
  3. File:Early Macintosh Prototype Computer History Museum Mountain View California 2013-04-11 23-45.jpg by Victorgrigas, Wikimedia Commons. 2013-04-12.
  4. Kawasaki, Guy (1994-12-01). Macintosh Insiders Ten Years Later. Stanford University. Archived from the original on 2010-11-11.
  5. Macintosh Insiders Ten Years Later, Stanford University. 2000-06-06.
  6. Apple's longest-serving employee looks back over 34 years with Steve Jobs by Richard Trenholm, CNET. 2011-03-18.

See also[]

External links[]