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Cary Lu

1945–1997 An Obituary for Cary Lu
Cary Lu—author, journalist, scientist, filmmaker, and friend—died of cancer September 23, 1997.

Born in Qingdao, China, December 4, 1945, Cary came to the United States with his parents when he was three. He grew up in California and received an A.B. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D in biology from the California Institute of Technology. He also did research in visual perception at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Cary worked in television for several years on projects for NBC and CBS News, developed short films for Sesame Street and other children’s programs on the Public Broadcasting Service and was the science and technology editor for Children’s Television Workshop. He was part of the group that started the Nova series for PBS and worked on science and technology education projects for the governments of Australia, Kenya, and Algeria. In recent years he was a member of the Committee on Public Understanding of Science and Technology of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Cary was founding managing editor of High Technology magazine, technology editor for Inc. magazine and a columnist on future technology for Inc. Technology magazine, but he was best known for his writings on computers. His “The Apple Macintosh Book,” first published in 1984, translated into many languages, and revised in three subsequent editions, was known as the essential volume about that machine. His columns and articles in Macworld magazine and other computer and technology publications came to be relied on as models of clarity and integrity.

In person and in print, Cary’s ability to explain science and technology to children and adults was a singular gift, and he gave his time selflessly to anyone who asked his assistance. He spent many hours helping with computers at his children’s public elementary school, and he was the person his friends came to turn to for definitive answers to complex technological questions.

At the time of his death, he was completing a forthcoming book, “The Race for Bandwidth.” He is survived by his wife, Ellen W. Chu, 47, and two children, Meredith, 10, and Nathaniel, 7, as well as his brother, Ponzy Lu, 54, and his father Abraham T. Lu, 85.

In lieu of sending flowers, friends are asked to make a donation to a charitable, non-profit, or educational organization of their choice.

Cary Lu Remembered
Others’ Thoughts About Cary
Additional Memorials Published Online
This site is constructed and maintained by a group of Cary’s friends, bringing together ideas discussed with Cary and Ellen previously. Please contact [email protected] if you experience a problem in using the site. Last updated Wednesday, September 24, 1997.