Ed Iacobucci: 1953-2013

It was with a profound sense of shock and loss that I learned that my friend Ed Iacobucci died on the 21st of June last.

Ed possessed an acute and inquiring mind, along with great compassion and humour, and he was invariably kind and thoughtful to all he met, as well as possessing a great sense of fun.

I met him at  the first Etre conference in Opio in Sophie Antipolis, France in 1991 and I was to meet him at subsequent Etre conferences in Barcelona, Madrid and at other places including the USA during the 1990s.

Considered to be the “Father of OS/2”, Ed was also the founder of Citrix.  He always had a lot of time for journalists and had anecdotes to match.

At a subsequent Etre conference in Barcelona, which IBM’s Lee Reiswig also  attended, a hot topic was Win OS/2 – a so-called “better Windows than Windows”.  At a bar in Barcelona the night before, Ed told me he would be meeting Lee Reiswig in the bar of the Hotel Princesa Sofia at 1PM the next day.  Ed told me to sit close by the two of them and he would put any questions about Win OS/2 to Lee and I should keep my ears skinned.

I got my scoop.

These Etre events involved partying the night away, and Ed and myself spent many hours exploring the great night life of Barcelona, Madrid and other European venues.  One morning, the only thing that woke me up was sunlight streaming through my window – just in time for me to get my act together and make my flight.  Ed was on the same flight and we lobbed into Heathrow at the same time.  Like me, in those days Ed liked his ciggies and after we’d got off the plane, he asked me if it was OK to smoke. I said yeah, only for him to put his cig away after a cop with a sub-machine gun definitively told him that no, he couldn’t smoke there.

Ed, when he was at Citrix, won big time over Microsoft in the early days and he had many anecdotes about Bill Gates and about the Vole (Microsoft) too.  

He was unfailing as a friend and after he left Citrix we met again, along with his charming wife Nancy Lee Iacobucci – both pictured here..

His untimely death from pancreatic cancer, which he had battled against for 16 months,  is a great loss to the industry, but more importantly to Nancy, his family and his friends to whom we offer our deep condolences.  The family has asked that gifts in memory of Ed should be directed to the Georgia Tech Foundation, 760 Spring Street, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30308. Donations will go towards a scholarship for engineering students with financial needs.

Friends and colleagues are invited to share stories about Ed at http://www.rememberingEd.org