August Dvorak

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August Dvorak
Born(1894-05-05)May 5, 1894
DiedOctober 10, 1975(1975-10-10) (aged 81)
Occupation(s)Psychologist, 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 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, together with Nellie Merrick and Gertrude Ford, wrote the book Typewriting Behavior, published in 1936. The book 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, during which 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] While his name is pronounced [ˈdvor̝aːk], with the ř roughly as a simultaneous trilled [r] and [ʒ] due to his being of Czech descent, Dvorak's family in the U.S. pronounces it /ˈdvɔːræk/, with an English r.[7][6]

Dvorak died in Seattle on October 10, 1975.[8]


  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 as "Mr. Typewriter", of New York City. Kursh, Harry. Mechanix Illustrated, January 1951, pp. 74 et seq. See Meet Mr. Typewriter Archived 2009-02-26 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "War Service Records of Enlisted Men". The Phi Delta Kappan. 6 (2): 16–18. January 1, 1923. JSTOR 20257337.
  6. ^ a b Pournelle, Jerry (September 1985). "PC, Peripherals, Programs, and People". BYTE. p. 347. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  7. ^ Cassingham, page 15.
  8. ^ "Simplified Typewriter Inventor Dies". The Press Democrat. UPI. October 15, 1975. p. 37.

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