Commodore Founder Jack Tramiel Dies

Computer industry pioneer Jack Tramiel has passed away at the age of 83.

Tramiel was a founder of Commodore International, the typewriter company that produced the Commodore 64 computer.   Tramiel helped make popular home computers with the Commodore 64.

Tramiel, the Polish-born son of Jewish immigrants who survived the infamous Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, emigrated to the United States in the late 1940s and began his career maintaining typewriters for the U.S. Army.

He later started his own typewriter manufacturing company, Commodore International, before upgrading to calculators and moving out to Silicon Valley. His work sowed the seeds for what ultimately became the popular home and games machine in the early 1980s, the C64.

Tramiel was ousted after a stockholder dispute, but he moved on to Atari, where he continued the gaming market dominance he first established with the C64, proving a spirited rival to his former company.

“Jack Tramiel was an immense influence in the consumer electronics and computing industries. A name once uttered in the same vein as Steve Jobs is today, his journey from concentration camp survivor to captain of industry is the stuff of legends,” says Martin Goldberg, a writer working on a book about the Atari brand and the early days of video games and computing with Atari Museum founder Curt Vendel.

Tramiel passed away Sunday. He is survived by his wife Helen, their three sons, Gary, Sam and Leonard, and their extended families.


  1. JohnMcD348 says

    Thank You Jack. For making me learn BASIC programming, Peeking and Poking around the computer, introducing me to the internet and QLink. The many hours I sat in front of your C=64 were priceless for this little geek.



  2. Jose Olivera says

    I never owned a Commodore 64 computer but I did own an Atari 520ST computer as well as an Atari 130XE. I remember playing spending an entire summer playing Dungeon Master on my ST until I beat the game. I have read a few books and articles over the years regarding him.

    I am sorry to hear about his passing. He was able to get computers into the hands of people by helping to bring the cost of computers down.

    Rest in peace Mr. Tramiel. Thanks for bringing Power without the Price.

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