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Birth of the Laser Printer

Presented by Gary Starkweather

Gary Keith Starkweather (January 9, 1938 – December 26, 2019)[1] was an American engineer, inventor, and Apple Fellow most notable for the invention of the laser printer and color management.


Starkweather received a B.S. in physics from Michigan State University in 1960 and an M.S. in optics from the University of Rochester in 1966.[2]


In 1969, Starkweather invented the laser printer at the Xerox Webster Research Center. He collaborated on the first fully functional laser printing system at Xerox PARC in 1971.[3][4][5]

Apple Computer[]

Starkweather joined Apple Computer as an Apple Fellow in March 1988.[6] There he invented color management technology, and led the development of ColorSync 1.0.[7]

After Apple[]

Starkweather joined Microsoft Research in May 1997, where he worked on display technology.[8]

Awards and recognition[]

In 1991, Starkweather was awarded the David Richardson Medal.[9]

Starkweather also made major contributions to digital matte film techniques. He was a consultant on the digital effects team for the original Star Wars movie which was released in 1977. He won a technical Academy Award in 1994 for his pioneering work with Lucasfilm (and later, Pixar) in the field of color film scanning. [10]

In 2004, he was elected to the United States National Academy of Engineering.[11] Starkweather died on December 26, 2019 at the age of 81.[12]


  1. Metz, Cade. "Gary Starkweather, Inventor of the Laser Printer, Dies at 81", The New York Times, 2020-01-15. (in en-US) 
  2. Gary Starkweather, Microsoft, University of Washington. Archived 2011-09-27.
  3. Edwin D. Reilly. "Milestones in Computer Science and Information Technology", Greenwood Press, p. 152. “starkweather laser-printer.” 
  4. Roy A. Allan. "A History of the Personal Computer: The People and the Technology", Allan Publishing. “starkweather laser-printer 1971 parc.” 
  5. Gladwell, Malcolm. "Creation Myth - Xerox PARC, Apple, and the truth about innovation", May 16, 2011. Retrieved on 31 August 2011. 
  6. Personal Computing in the 21st Century by Gary K. Starkweather, User Interface Software and Technology, Association for Computing Machinery. 2005-10-23.
  7. Gary K. Starkweather, "Method and apparatus for calibrating and adjusting a color imaging system," U.S. Patent 5694227, Dec. 2, 1997
  8. O'Hanlon, Charlene (Nov 13, 2002). Gary Starkweather - Laser Printer Inventor. IT Channel News by CRN. CRN. Retrieved on 13 August 2009.
  9. David Richardson Medal. The Optical Society (2013). Retrieved on December 18, 2013.
  10. UIST 2005 Keynote. Biography.
  11. Mr. Gary K. Starkweather. National Academy of Engineering Membership Website.
  12. Gary K. Starkweather. National Inventors Hall of Fame. Retrieved on 9 January 2020.

External links[]


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