Biographical NotesAdele Goldberg was born July 7, 1945, in Cleveland, Ohio. She received a BA in mathematics
from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a master’s in information science from the
University of Chicago. In 1969, Goldberg began studying for her PhD in information science at
Stanford University as a visiting University of Chicago student; she then became a research
associate at Stanford while working on her dissertation. She earned her PhD from the University
of Chicago in 1973.
After receiving her PhD, Goldberg went to work at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox
PARC) as a laboratory and research associate, and in 1979 she became the manager of its
System Concepts Laboratory. At Xerox PARC, Goldberg was a co-creator of the highly
influential programming language Smalltalk-80, along with Alan Kay, Dan Ingalls, and other
designers. The first object-oriented programming language, Smalltalk introduced many of the
characteristics seen in personal computers today, including the graphical user interface,
overlapping windows, point-and-click menus, dragging and dropping, and icons. Goldberg wrote
much of the documentation for Smalltalk-80, including the books Smalltalk-80: The Language and Its Implementation (1983), Smalltalk-80: the Interactive Programming Environment (1984),
and Smalltalk-80: The Language (1989), co-written with David Robson and considered the
definitive books on the subject.
From 1984 to 1986, Goldberg was the president of the Association for Computing Machinery
(ACM). In 1988, she co-founded a spin-off business from Xerox called ParcPlace Systems that
commercialized Smalltalk-80 and provided licensing of and support for it. She left ParcPlace in
1995, and in 1999 she co-founded the technological consulting firm Neometron. She has also
acted as CTO for various companies, served on advisory boards, and designed online college
courses in math and science.