August Dvorak

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August Dvorak
Born(1894-05-05)May 5, 1894
Glencoe, Minnesota, United States
DiedOctober 10, 1975(1975-10-10) (aged 81)
OccupationPsychologist, Professor, Designer

August Dvorak (May 5, 1894 – October 10, 1975[1]) was an American educational psychologist and professor of education[2] at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.[3] He and his brother-in-law, William Dealey, are best known for creating the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard layout in the 1930s as a replacement for the QWERTY keyboard layout. In the 1940s, Dvorak designed keyboard layouts for people with the use of one hand.[4]

Dvorak and Dealey, along with Nellie Merrick and Gertrude Ford, wrote the book Typewriting Behavior, published in 1936. The book, currently not in print, is an in-depth report on the psychology and physiology of typing.

Dvorak served with the American Army Field Artillery during the punitive expedition against Pancho Villa and was wounded during the campaign. Afterward he was discharged and enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve, teaching mathematics and navigation until World War I, where he served aboard the captured German privateer USS Callao bringing troops home until his discharge in 1919.[5] Later, he was the captain of a Gato-class submarine in the United States Navy during World War II.[6] He was distantly related to the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák.[citation needed] While the composer's name is pronounced [ˈdvor̝ɑːk]), with the ř roughly as a simultaneous trilled [r] and [ʒ], August Dvorak's family in the U.S. pronounces it /ˈdvɔːræk/, with an English r.[7][6]


  1. ^ Cassingham, R. C. (1986). The Dvorak Keyboard. Freelance Communications. ISBN 0-935309-10-1. Page 5.
  2. ^ Cassingham, page 32.
  3. ^ Dvorak, August et al. (1936). Typewriting Behavior. American Book Company. Title page.
  4. ^ The first such machine built in accordance with Dvorak's one-handed layout was designed and constructed by Martin Tytell, also known a "Mr. Typewriter", of New York City. Kursh, Harry. Mechanix Illustrated, January 1951, pp. 74 et seq. See Meet Mr. Typewriter
  5. ^ "War Service Records of Enlisted Men". The Phi Delta Kappan. 6 (2): 16–18. 1923-01-01. JSTOR 20257337.
  6. ^ a b Pournelle, Jerry (September 1985). "PC, Peripherals, Programs, and People". BYTE. p. 347. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  7. ^ Cassingham, page 15.

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