Exhibits At the Museum

This Day in History

Today: July 24, 2014

October 5, 1996

Supercomputer Pioneer Cray Dies in Auto Accident

The father of the supercomputer, Seymour Cray, died due to injuries sustained in a car accident two weeks earlier. Cray was born September 28, 1925, in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Cray worked among computer pioneers after graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1951 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees. With several others, he founded Control Data Corp., where he built the CDC 1604 and CDC 6600. The latter was the most powerful computer of its time -- three times more powerful than IBM’s STRETCH. Cray founded his own company, Cray Research, in 1972 and built supercomputers in a cylindrical design that aimed to cut down on the length of internal wiring. Crays are used primarily for scientific research and computer graphics.