Atex Co-founder Charles Ying Dead at 63

By: E&P Staff

Charles Ying, a founder of Atex, died Sept. 9. He was 63, according to the MyFonts blog, which attributed his death to cancer and noted that he is survived by his wife, four children, three siblings and mother.

With brother Richard and Douglas Drane, a colleague from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ying started Atex in 1973 with the aim of developing a versatile composition system using a video display terminal. It would vastly improve the efficiency of publishing daily newspapers, with large quantities of constantly changing information.

Their ideas produced the editorial and classified advertising front ends for typeset material, predecessors of today’s content management systems used for material to be paginated and information to be disseminated to all manner of digital devices.

Atex would become one of the largest worldwide suppliers of systems for newspapers and magazines. Its original owners sold Atex in 1981 to Eastman Kodak Co., which owned it for 10 years. It subsequently passed through several owners, often under different names, before settling some years ago under its current ownership at its headquarters in Reading, England.

An engineer and Harvard Business school alum, Ying listed his residence as Hawaii and his title on LinkedIn as “ski bum.” After Atex, Ying served as president of Information International Inc. after Al Fenaughty moved up to chairman. Ying also was chairman of Pageflex and Bitstream, where he founded MyFonts.com.

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