W. Richard Stevens

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William Richard (Rich) Stevens
Born (1951-02-05)February 5, 1951
Luanshya, Northern Rhodesia
Died September 1, 1999(1999-09-01) (aged 48)
Tucson, Arizona, United States
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields Systems Engineering
Alma mater
Known for Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, TCP/IP Illustrated, UNIX Network Programming

William Richard (Rich) Stevens (February 5, 1951 – September 1, 1999) was an 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, 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]



Stevens also co-authored several IETF Request for Comments (RFC) documents informational documents for IPv6 updates to the Berkeley sockets API and a standards document for TCP congestion control.

  • 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


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