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Obituary: John Wilder Tukey

John Wilder Tukey, one of the most influential statisticians of the last 50 years, died on July 26. He was 85.

Well known to Statisticians, Tukey's specific contributions include the Box-and-Whisker Plot, the Stem-and-Leaf Diagram, and Tukey's Paired Comparisons. He also coined the terms "bit" and "software".

In a 1958 article in American mathematical monthly, Tukey saw that "software", as he called it, was gaining prominence.

"Today", he wrote at the time, it is "at least as important as the 'hardware' of tubes, transistors, wires, tapes and the like."

Tukey was also the recipient of many awards in his field. These include the National Academy of Sciences in 1961, the National Medal of Science from President Nixon in 1973, and the Medal of Honor from IEEE in 1982.