Albion Interactive History / People / Bob Bemer

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / People / Albion College

 Bob Bemer, c.1920


Albion College Graduate
Class of 1940

Bob Bemer is the son of Clarence Bemer and the grandson of longtime Albion City Assessor and mayor William Bemer.

Bob Recieved his Bachelors degree in Mathematics from Albion College in 1940. The following year he received a certificate in Aeronautical Engineering from Curtiss-Wright Technological Institute. Over a long and illustrius career he has worked with technological industry leaders including Rand Corporation, Lockheed Martin, IBM Corporation, General Electric Company, and Honeywell Information Systems.

Among his many accomplishments, Bob helped create the programming language COBOL, coined the words COBOL and CODASYL, invented the ESCape sequence, created the PICTURE clause, helped create and standardize the ASCII character set (as in “Father of”), put the backslash into the ASCII set, and helped create the 8-bit per byte standard.

In 1965 Bemer received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Albion College, even though his father’s first six words after Bob’s graduation from Albion College were, “I never thought you’d make it!” Today, Bemer lives with his wife Betty at their home on Possum Kingdom Lake west of Dallas, Texas, where Bob is continuing his work with software design.

Source: Isaac Kremer, 16 November 2001.