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Arnold Spielberg

Arnold Spielberg (1917–2020), computer pioneer, Steven Spielberg’s dad

by Kirk Fox

Arnold Spielberg was the father of movie director Steven Spielberg and a computer pioneer whose work was instrumental in the development of personal computers.

  • Died: Tuesday, August 25, 2020 (Who else died on August 25?) 
  • Details of Death: Died at the age of 103.
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Computer Pioneer 

Spielberg worked for GE and helped design a mainframe computer that would lead to the coding tool known as BASIC which was instrumental in the creation of personal computers. He also designed the first electronic cash register. He enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and served in the 490th Bomb Squadron who were known as the Burma Bridge Busters. Spielberg’s experiences during the war inspired son Steven Spielberg to make “Saving Private Ryan.” He helped his son make his first movie in 1964 by creating special effects for the 17-year-old’s debut titled “Firelight.”

His attempt to get Steven interested in engineering 

“Steven came to visit once, and I showed him the factory and the engineering floor. I tried to get him interested in engineering, but his heart was in movies. At first I was disappointed, but then I saw how good he was in moviemaking.” —2016 interview for the GE website 


What they said about him

Full Obituary: Hollywood Reporter

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