Jay Last, an entrepreneur and co-founder of Sun Microsystems who turned his world of personal computers, computer-aided design and easy-to-use personal computing into Silicon Valley history, died on Saturday in California, according to Bloomberg. He was 92.
Last was a pioneer in the hardware and software field of computing, and served as a role model for other entrepreneurs like his friend and fellow Silicon Valley billionaire, Bill Gates. He was a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, one of the main engineers of the original Mac computer, and helped build other pioneering electronic computers in the 1950s and 1960s, including the Altair 8800 and Commodore Amiga. Mr. Last also was an early investor in Apple, which was founded in 1977 and is now called Apple.
Another entrepreneur from the valley, Sir Richard Branson, wrote on Twitter, “Big loss to Silicon Valley and to the world.” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg praised Last’s contributions to computing, writing, “I met Jay last year, and was inspired by what an incredible humanitarian he was. He’ll be so missed.”
The Sun Microsystems website remembers Mr. Last, calling him a visionary “who brought new life to Sun’s computing heritage” and helping to build “the foundation for Sun’s global successes and engineering teams.”
Mr. Last’s first wife was Laura Atkinson. He is survived by his second wife, Susan, and a daughter.