by CIO Staff

Jim Gray, Pre-eminent Computer Scientist, Missing

Feb 01, 20071 min
CareersData Management

Jim Gray, manager of Microsoft Research’s e-Science Group, and winner of the A.M. Turing Award (often called the Nobel Prize of computer science), has been missing since Jan. 28., according to an Associated Press report. He embarked from San Francisco in his 40-foot C&C sailboat, Tenacious, with the intent of scattering his late mother’s ashes at sea about 25 miles west of the city.

The 63-year-old was reported missing by his wife at 8:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, according to the San Mateo County Times. The Coast Guard search for him or his craft was to end Thursday, if no further leads were found. Searchers have covered 40,000 square miles from Monterey Bay to Oregon and more than 140 miles out to sea but have found no trace of the longtime sailor, according to the AP report posted on

The San Francisco Chronicle carries a long story about Gray, who, it reports, is credited with devising the database systems that run ATMs and manage online shopping transactions. He built the first computer programs that allow people to peer into space without a telescope or see satellite images, via TerraServer, of their homes on their computers.