Richard M. Stallman (1953- )
Manhattan-born hacker extraordinaire and free software activist. Richard Matthew Stallman graduated from Harvard University in 1974. He was a hacker at the MIT AI Lab from 1971 to January 1984. Stallman was driven out from the Lab by the destruction of its hacker culture, when most left to start a proprietary and predatory computer company. He then founded the Free Software Foundation to support a project to build GNU, a free alternative to the Unix operating system. His work and writings have greatly defined software development, especially for all those who consider themselves free software or open source developers. His unshakable assertion that free use of necessary technology and software is a crucial political right has gained him both fans and enemies. He has influenced and debated his fellow software activists Larry Wall, Eric S. Raymond, and Bill Joy.
- Free as in Freedom The publisher's online version of Sam Williams's biography. March, 2002