DANIEL BOBROW

Obituary
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  • "Dear Toni, Michael and Rusty,<br />Although we seldom..."
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    - Kimberly Bobrow Jennery
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BOBROW--Daniel (Danny)

G., PhD. November 29, 1935 - March 20, 2017. Daniel (Danny) Bobrow passed away peacefully at home with his wife Toni and daughters Kimberly and Deborah in Palo Alto, California, on March 20, 2017, having bravely fought a five-month battle with cancer. Danny was born to Ruth Gureasko Bobrow and Jacob Bobrow on November 29, 1935, in the Bronx, New York City. A gifted student, he attended Bronx High School of Science and went on to earn a BS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an MS from Harvard, and a PhD in Mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the supervision of Marvin Minsky. His was one of the first MIT doctoral theses in Artificial Intelligence. A pioneer with a long and distinguished research career in Artificial Intelligence as a Research Fellow in the System Sciences Laboratory of the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), he is remembered as a mentor, friend, and role model for many. One esteemed colleague wrote: "Danny Bobrow's death is a huge loss for PARC/Xerox and the research community at large. Danny was an influential researcher, true gentleman and a wonderful person." Danny served as president of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), president of the Cognitive Science Society, editor-in-chief of the Artificial Intelligence Journal, and also was a recipient of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Software Systems Award and a fellow of both the ACM and AAAI. He was key to the development of many ground- breaking systems, starting with his doctoral dissertation, STUDENT, and followed by the widely used programming languages Logo and Interlisp; the (innovative) operating system TENEX; the knowledge-sharing system Eureka; and more recently, Powerset, the natural language search engine. Beyond his profound professional accomplishments, Danny was a truly caring husband, father, and friend to all who had the privilege to know him. He shared 39 joyful years with his beloved wife Toni Wagner Bobrow. Together, they enjoyed many world travel adventures and had a mutual passion for the arts and literature. Danny took great pleasure in fatherhood, enjoying a rich and special relationship with each of his daughters, Kimberly and Deborah, and his son Jordan. He shared a warm and close relationship with his brothers, Michael, Rusty and Eric, as well as many extended family members. Danny is survived by his wife, Toni Wagner Bobrow; his children, Kimberly Bobrow Jennery, Deborah Bobrow, and Jordan Bobrow; and his brothers, Michael Bobrow, Robert (Rusty) Bobrow, and Eric Bobrow. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a donation in his name be given to one of Danny's favorite nonprofit organizations: KQED (or a local PBS/NPR station), Planned Parenthood or the ACLU.

Published in The New York Times on Apr. 2, 2017