Dennis Ritchie, a computer scientist who built a programming language upon which much of the Internet runs on, was found dead over the weekend at his home in Murray Hill, N.J., according to former colleague Rob Pike.

Ritchie's cause of death was not immediately known, but Pike said he died of a long illness.

“When Steve Jobs died last week, there was a huge outcry, and that was very moving and justified. But Dennis had a bigger effect, and the public doesn’t even know who he is,” says Rob Pike, according to

Ritchie created the C programming language which at the time was sophisticated yet simple, and he also co-created UNIX with a colleague at Bell Labs, an operating system used widely across the web.

Microsoft Windows-based personal computers and many Apple products run on derivatives of C programming and it is the ancestor of “most of the infrastructure of our wired society,” said Paul Ceruzzi, a Smithsonian historian and computer history expert, according to the Washington Post.

Ritchie is survived by two brothers, William Ritchie of Alexandria and John Ritchie of Newton, Mass., and one sister, Lynn Ritchie of Hexham, England, reports the Post.