Tech pioneer and former Pixar president dead at 92

Former Silicon Valley tech executive Jay Last is dead. Last reportedly suffered a severe fall and died over the weekend. He was 92 years old. Last spent his entire career in the business of…

Tech pioneer and former Pixar president dead at 92

Former Silicon Valley tech executive Jay Last is dead. Last reportedly suffered a severe fall and died over the weekend. He was 92 years old.

Last spent his entire career in the business of technology. He founded Ethereal Corp, a leading computer graphics shop for the U.S. military from 1954 to 1959. He also co-founded Trimatoys, a toy store in San Francisco that was bought by Toys R Us.

He retired from the toy business in 1984 and continued to work with the industry. As part of that venture, he served as founding chairman and CEO of the Steve Jobs-founded computer game company, LucasArts. He served as a special adviser to Apple in 1987.

Over the years, his achievements have included being inducted into the national Silicon Valley Hall of Fame, the Computer Museum’s Hall of Fame, and the Computer History Museum’s Hall of Fame. Last was also honored by the Governor of California in 2006, where he was described as “a steady hand at the helm of the Walt Disney Co.’s animation studio during an era when big-budget movies were being screened in black-and-white.”

After leaving LucasArts, Last went to work for Lucasfilm, where he became a key executive in every aspect of the company’s business. He later served as executive vice president of Lucasfilm Development.

At Lucasfilm, Last developed the company’s business model, under which every production was independently funded and financed. He also helped found the Lucas Digital Experience with Chris Philip, a business that helped expand Lucasfilm’s reach into the gaming and television markets.

To this day, Last’s legacy is indelible. He was one of the founding fathers of the concept of the gaming industry that “once exclusively existed only in the computer room of the penthouse of a business executive or in the solitude of a home computer set,” according to Paul Feldman of the Silicon Valley Reporter.

On the internet, Last is considered “one of the coolest tycoons from one of the coolest cities in the world,” Feldman also writes.

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