I was just forwarded a message that Peter Landin passed away yesterday.
From: Edmund Robinson
Date: 4 June 2009 09:10:11 GMT+00:00
Subject: Peter Landin
I am very sorry to inform you that Peter Landin died yesterday of natural causes.
For those members who are several generations away from Peter's early contributions, he was one of the major figures in the UK at the time that Computer Science was beginning to establish itself as a discipline. Some of his papers from 40 years ago are essential reading for any serious student of programming languages as still the simplest and clearest exposition of ideas that remain fundamental. The ideas in his papers were truly original and beautiful, but Peter never had a simplistic approach to scientific progress, and would scoff at the idea of individual personal contribution. Some of his own greatest ontribution to the field was as part of a golden nexus of work on programming languages in the UK in the late 60's and early 70's, containing Dana Scott and Christopher Strachey and others as well as Peter. The ideas they developed through their discussions truly lifted the study of programming languages to another level, and are now part of the bedrock of the subject.
Landin was one of the founders of our field, and did a lot of work of lasting value. We've discussed his papers here many times before, even though some of them were written decades ago. He did work that cast a long shadow, or phrased better, did work that illuminated wide vistas.