John Mauchly

John Mauchly
UNIVAC 1 demo.jpg
Eckert and Mauchly examine a printout of ENIAC results in a newsreel from February 1946.
Born(1907-08-30)August 30, 1907
Cincinnati, Ohio
DiedJanuary 8, 1980(1980-01-08) (aged 72)
Ambler, Pennsylvania
Alma materJohns Hopkins University
AwardsHarry H. Goode Memorial Award (1966)
Harold Pender Award (1973)
IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award (1978)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUrsinus College
University of Pennsylvania

John William Mauchly (August 30, 1907 – January 8, 1980) was an American physicist who, along with J. Presper Eckert, designed ENIAC, the first general purpose electronic digital computer, as well as EDVAC, BINAC and UNIVAC I, the first commercial computer made in the United States.

Together they started the first computer company, the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC), and pioneered fundamental computer concepts including the stored program, subroutines, and programming languages. Their work, as exposed in the widely read First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC (1945) and as taught in the Moore School Lectures (1946), influenced an explosion of computer development in the late 1940s all over the world.


John W. Mauchly was born on August 30, 1907, to Sebastian and Rachel (Scheidermantel) Mauchly in Cincinnati, Ohio. He moved with his parents and sister, Helen Elizabeth (Betty), at an early age to Chevy Chase, Maryland, when Sebastian Mauchly obtained a position at the Carnegie Institution of Washington as head of its Section of Terrestrial Electricity. As a youth, Mauchly was interested in science, and in particular with electricity, and as a young teenager was known to fix neighbors' electric systems. Mauchly attended E.V. Brown Elementary School in Chevy Chase and McKinley Technical High School in Washington, DC. At McKinley, Mauchly was extremely active in the debate team, was a member of the national honor society, and became editor-in-chief of the school's newspaper, Tech Life. After graduating from high school in 1925, he earned a scholarship to study engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He subsequently transferred to the Physics Department, and without completing his undergraduate degree, instead earned a Ph.D. in physics in 1932.[1]

From 1932 to 1933, Mauchly served as a research assistant at Johns Hopkins University where he concentrated on calculating energy levels of the formaldehyde spectrum. Mauchly's teaching career truly began in 1933 at Ursinus College where he was appointed head of the physics department, where he was, in fact, the only staff member.[2]

In the summer of 1941, Mauchly took a Defense Training Course for Electronics at the University of Pennsylvania Moore School of Electrical Engineering. There he met the lab instructor, J. Presper Eckert (1919-1995), with whom he would form a long-standing working partnership. Following the course, Mauchly was hired as an instructor of electrical engineering and in 1943, he was promoted to assistant professor of electrical engineering. Following the outbreak of World War II, the United States Army Ordnance Department contracted the Moore School to build an electronic computer which, as proposed by Mauchly and Eckert, would accelerate the recomputation of artillery firing tables.[3]

In 1959, Mauchly left Sperry Rand and started Mauchly Associates, Inc. One of Mauchly Associates' notable achievements was the development of the Critical Path Method (CPM) which provided for automated construction scheduling. Mauchly also set up a consulting organization, Dynatrend, in 1967 and worked as a consultant to Sperry UNIVAC from 1973 until his death in 1980.[4]

John Mauchly died on January 8, 1980, in Abington, Pennsylvania, during heart surgery and following a long illness. His first wife, Mary Augusta Walzl, a mathematician, whom he married on December 30, 1930, drowned in 1946. John and Mary Mauchly had two children, James (Jimmy) and Sidney. In 1948, Mauchly married Kathleen Kay McNulty (1921-2006), one of the six original ENIAC programmers; they had five children Sara (Sallie), Kathleen (Kathy), John, Virginia (Gini), and Eva.[5]

Other Languages
العربية: جون ماكلي
azərbaycanca: Con Uilyam Mauçli
تۆرکجه: جان ماکلی
български: Джон Моукли
català: John Mauchly
فارسی: جان ماکلی
한국어: 존 모클리
italiano: John Mauchly
македонски: Џон Мокли
മലയാളം: ജോൺ മോഷ്ലി
português: John Mauchly
русский: Мокли, Джон
тоҷикӣ: Ҷон Мокли
українська: Джон Моклі