Charles Geschke (center) with Barack Obama
Charles Geschke (center) with Barack ObamaReuters

Charles “Chuck” Geschke, co-founder of Adobe Inc. who helped develop Portable Document Format technology, or PDFs, has died at age 81, The Associated Press reported Sunday.

Geschke, who lived in the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Los Altos, died Friday, the company said.

“This is a huge loss for the entire Adobe community and the technology industry, for whom he has been a guide and hero for decades,” Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen wrote in an email to the company's employees.

“As co-founders of Adobe, Chuck and John Warnock developed groundbreaking software that has revolutionized how people create and communicate," Narayen said. "Their first product was Adobe PostScript, an innovative technology that provided a radical new way to print text and images on paper and sparked the desktop publishing revolution.

"Chuck instilled a relentless drive for innovation in the company, resulting in some of the most transformative software inventions, including the ubiquitous PDF, Acrobat, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Photoshop.”

Geschke, who earned a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University, then began working at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where he met Warnock, the Mercury News reported.

The men left the company in 1982 to found Adobe, developing software together.

In 2009, US President Barack Obama awarded Geschke and Warnock the National Medal of Technology.