Richard Brodie (programmer)

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Richard Brodie
Nickname(s)Quiet Lion
ResidenceKirkland, Washington, U.S.
BornNovember 10, 1959 (1959-11-10) (age 63)
Newton, Massachusetts, U.S.
World Series of Poker
Money finish(es)5
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
World Poker Tour
Final table(s)None
Money finish(es)6

Richard Reeves Brodie (born November 10, 1959) is an American computer programmer and author. He is an original creator of Microsoft Word.[1][2] After leaving Microsoft, he became a motivational speaker and authored two bestselling books.


Early life[edit]

Brodie was born in Newton, Massachusetts, the elder son of Mary Ann Brodie and Richard Brodie, a child psychologist. He graduated from Newton South High School and entered Harvard College in the fall of 1977, concentrating in applied mathematics with an emphasis on computer science. He left Harvard after his sophomore year and moved to Palo Alto, CA to work for Xerox Corporation's Advanced Systems Division (ASD), where he met Charles Simonyi and helped develop the Bravo X word processor for the Alto computer.[3] Simonyi became a mentor to Brodie at Xerox and took him along when he moved to Microsoft in 1981.


Simonyi hired Brodie in 1981 as Microsoft's 77th employee and a founding member of the Microsoft Application Division.

Brodie distinguished himself at Microsoft by creating the first version of Microsoft Word in less than seven months.[1] In addition to primary authorship of Microsoft Word, he wrote Microsoft's first C compiler, the original version of Notepad, and Word for the IBM PC Jr.

Brodie's success as a programmer brought him to the attention of Bill Gates, who made Brodie his technical assistant in 1983.[4] Brodie's primary accomplishment as Gates's assistant was the management of the Cashmere project, which was released as Word for Windows. Brodie left Microsoft after the company went public in 1986, but returned in 1991 as Chief Software Designer and Lead Developer of the Omega project, which was released as Microsoft Access in 1992. He left Microsoft again in 1994.[5]

After leaving Microsoft[edit]

Between his stints at Microsoft, Brodie embarked on a self-improvement quest, taking numerous courses and participating in retreats, seeking an answer to "why money and success didn’t make me happy."[6] He wrote about his experience in his first book, Getting Past OK: The Self-Help Book for People Who Don’t Need Help, first published in 1993. It became a regional bestseller and was republished by Warner Books. He followed it with Virus of the Mind (1995), which explored the new field of memetics from a practical point of view. Hay House bought the rights to both books and currently publishes them in many languages worldwide.

Brodie spoke about his books on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Phil Donahue.

Poker player[edit]

Apart from his careers as a programmer and author, Brodie has found creative ways to integrate his love of sports and games into his professional life. In 2003 he joined the professional poker circuit. He has finished in the money in five World Series of Poker events and six World Poker Tours. Until Black Friday, he played as a Full Tilt Poker pro under the screen name Quiet Lion.[7] He appeared on NBC's game show Identity and played himself in the movie The Grand.[8]

Brodie currently resides in Kirkland, Washington.


  • Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme, Hay House, 2004. ISBN 978-1-4019-2468-3
  • Getting Past OK: The Self-Help Book for People Who Don't Need Help, Hay House, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4019-2697-7


  1. ^ a b Cheryl Tsang (1999). Microsoft: First Generation. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-33206-2.
  2. ^ Rick Schaut (May 19, 2004). "Anatomy of a Software Bug". MSDN Blogs. Retrieved December 2, 2006.
  3. ^ Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews (1994). Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry and Made Himself the Richest Man in America. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-88074-8.
  4. ^ Jack Canfield and Jacqueline Miller (1998). Heart at Work. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-012030-7.
  5. ^ Jennifer Edstrom and Marlin Eller (1999). Barbarians Led by Bill Gates: Microsoft From the Inside. Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 0-8050-5755-2.
  6. ^ Richard Brodie. Getting Past OK: The Self-Help Book for People Who Don't Need Help.
  7. ^ "Richard "Quiet Lion" Brodie's Full Tilt Poker Pro Page".
  8. ^ "Richard Brodie (III)". IMDB.

External links[edit]