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W. Richard Stevens

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W. Richard Stevens
William Richard Stevens

(1951-02-05)February 5, 1951
DiedSeptember 1, 1999(1999-09-01) (aged 48)
Alma mater
Known forAdvanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, TCP/IP Illustrated, UNIX Network Programming
Scientific career
FieldsSystems engineering

William Richard (Rich) Stevens (February 5, 1951 – September 1, 1999) was a Northern Rhodesia–born American author of computer science books, in particular books on Unix and TCP/IP.[1]


Richard Stevens was born in 1951 in Luanshya, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), where his father worked for the copper industry. The family later moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, Hurley, New Mexico, Washington, D.C., and Phalaborwa, South Africa. Stevens attended Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Virginia. He received a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan in 1973 and both a master's degree (in 1978) and PhD (in 1982) in systems engineering from the University of Arizona. He moved to Tucson in 1975 where he was employed at Kitt Peak National Observatory as a computer programmer until 1982. From 1982 until 1990 he was Vice President of Computing Services at Health Systems International in New Haven, Connecticut. Stevens moved back to Tucson in 1990 where he pursued his career as an author and consultant. He was also an avid pilot and a part-time flight instructor during the 1970s.[2]

Stevens died in 1999, at the age of 48. In 2000, he was posthumously awarded the USENIX Lifetime Achievement Award.[3]


  • 1990 – UNIX Network ProgrammingISBN 0-13-949876-1
  • 1992 – Advanced Programming in the UNIX EnvironmentISBN 0-201-56317-7
  • 1994 – TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1: The ProtocolsISBN 0-201-63346-9
  • 1995 – TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 2: The Implementation (with Gary R. Wright) – ISBN 0-201-63354-X
  • 1996 – TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 3: TCP for Transactions, HTTP, NNTP, and the UNIX Domain ProtocolsISBN 0-201-63495-3
  • 1998 – UNIX Network Programming, Volume 1, Second Edition: Networking APIs: Sockets and XTIISBN 0-13-490012-X
  • 1999 – UNIX Network Programming, Volume 2, Second Edition: Interprocess CommunicationsISBN 0-13-081081-9
  • 2003 – UNIX Network Programming Volume 1, Third Edition: The Sockets Networking APIISBN 0-13-141155-1 (with Bill Fenner, and Andrew M. Rudoff)
  • 2005 – Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, Second EditionISBN 0-321-52594-9 (with Stephen A. Rago)
  • 2011 – TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1: The Protocols (2nd Edition)ISBN 0-321-33631-3 (with Kevin R. Fall)
  • 2013 – Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, Third EditionISBN 0-321-63773-9 (with Stephen A. Rago)


Stevens also co-authored several Request for Comments (RFC) documents for the Internet Engineering Task Force, the process by which the Internet's "technical and organizational notes" are disseminated.[4] Stevens' RFCs covered updates to the Berkeley sockets API for IPv6, as well as a standard method of congestion control for TCP sessions.

  • Stevens, W. R., and Thomas, M. 1998. "Advanced Sockets API for IPv6," RFC 2292
  • Gilligan, R. E., Thomson, S., Bound, J., and Stevens, W. R. 1999. "Basic Socket Interface Extensions for IPv6," RFC 2553
  • Allman, M., Paxson, V., Stevens, W. R. 1999. "TCP Congestion Control," RFC 2581


  1. ^ "Pearson Technology Group – Advanced Programming in the UNIX® Environment 1/e". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
  2. ^ "Usenet post of obituary". Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  3. ^ "Winners of the USENIX Lifetime Achievement Award". 6 December 2011. Retrieved February 6, 2014.
  4. ^ "IETF | RFCs". IETF. Retrieved 2021-01-11.

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