Richard W. Stevens

IRL Name: 
Richard W. Stevens

Richard Stevens was born in 1951 in Luanshya, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), where his father worked for the copper industry. The family later moved to Salt Lake City, Hurley, New Mexico, Washington, D.C. and Phalaborwa, South Africa. Stevens attended Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Virginia. He received a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1973 and both a master's degree (in 1978) and PhD (in 1982) in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona. He moved to Tucson in 1975 where he was employed at Kitt Peak National Observatory as a computer programmer until 1982. From 1982 until 1990 he was Vice President of Computing Services at Health Systems International in New Haven, Connecticut. Stevens moved back to Tucson in 1990 where he pursued his career as an author and consultant. He was also an avid pilot and a part-time flight instructor during the 1970s.


Stevens died in 1999, at the age of 48. In 2000, he was posthumously awarded the Usenix Lifetime Achievement Award.

Stevens also co-authored several IETF Request for Comments (RFC) documents — informational documents for IPv6 updates to the Berkeley sockets API and a standards document for TCP congestion control.

Was one of the most famous and widely acclaimed authors of UNIX and TCP/IP books.