Summary Box: Computer-programming pioneer dies

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PIONEER DIES: Dennis Ritchie, a pioneer in computer programming, has died at age 70.

HIS LEGACY: Ritchie created the popular C programming language, which is now commonly used for website development and other computer tasks. He also helped create the Unix operating software, the basis for systems widely used today in corporate servers and cellphones. He joined Bell Labs, now part of Alcatel-Lucent, in the late 1960s.

NOT KNOWN: Alcatel-Lucent confirmed his death to The Associated Press but would not disclose the cause of death or when Ritchie died.