We knew him as both scholar and friend.
BY michaeL stoneBRaKeR anD DaViD J. De Witt
to Jim Gray
JiM (JAMEs nichoLAs) grAY was born January
12, 1944 and lost at sea off the coast of Northern
California while sailing January 28, 2007. He was one
of world’s most distinguished computer scientists.
His numerous contributions to the field of database
systems were recognized through memberships in the
National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy
of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences, and the European Academy of Science.
He was also a fellow of both ACM and IEEE. Jim was
awarded the 1998 ACM a.m. Turing Award for his
seminal contributions to our understanding of the
concept of transactions and their implementation.
photoGraph by riChard morGenstein
At a tribute event at the University of California,
Berkeley, last May 31, 700 of Jim’s friends, family,
and colleagues met to discuss both his professional
accomplishments and the effect he had on their
lives. Speaker after speaker discussed what he did in
transaction processing and science applications, as
well as the ways he had been a friend, mentor, and
research collaborator to all.
Jim’s pioneering research on transactions at IBM
in the 1970s is the foundation for today’s world of