Herman Hollerith Dead

Sunday November 17, 1929

by Thomas Smith

Herman Hollerith, the inventor of a system of tabulation which is in wide use, died today at 4:20 A.M. in his house in Maryland. He was 69 years old. The funeral is planned for Wednesday November 20, at his home in Maryland.

His system of tabulation was used in the Censi of 1890 and 1900, and is growing in popularity in the business world. He started the Tabulating Machine Company, now part of the International Business Machines Corp.

He is survived by his wife Lucia, his sons Herman Jr., Charles, and Richard, his daughters Lucia, Nan, and Virginia, and a grandson, Herman III.

Herman spent his teen years in New York City. He attended the College of the City of New York, and the Columbia School of Mines, after dropping out of the public schools at the age of 9. Before he attended the College of the City of New York, he was tutored by a Methodist minister.

Hollerith's jobs included Census Clerk in the Census of 1880, patent examiner, instructor at MIT, engineer for a company for building improvements to the railroads, run by his cousin, and leader of his Tabulating Machine Company. Those who have worked with him remember him fondly.

In the final years of his life, he retired from his position on the board of C-T-R, a descendent of TMC and a precursor of the International Business Machines Corporation, a small company recently formed. He has been living a rather quiet but nonetheless very satisfying life, ever since, enjoying his farm and his grandchild.

On November 15, Hollerith developed symptoms of a cold. Soon, he began to have trouble breathing. This morning, he died. Nobody will ever replace him in the hearts of his friends.

Friends, acquaintences, and family members are urged to attend the funeral.

(Austrian 344-347)


Today (29 February 2000) is Herman Hollerith's 35th birthday (he is 140 years old).

This genre is an attempt to look at Hollerith's whole life. I need to make sure that most of the things mentioned in here are at least slightly covered by genres of their own, a feat which I can accomplish without a huge amount of difficulty. This piece is substance, because it gives some useful details about Hollerith's life as a whole.

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