Larry Aronson was born in Chicago in 1948; grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and graduated with honors from Evanston Township High School. He attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana as a math major and, when the U of I established its Computer Science department in 1967, Larry was one of the first to register. Before graduating with a BA in Computer Science (plus a BS in Psychology) Larry worked two Summers as an assistant systems engineer with IBM‘s Chicago manufacturing branch office.
In January of 1971, Larry visited New York City, fell in love and decided to live there. He worked at a number of jobs in New York’s radio, theater and recording industries until 1974, when he accepted a full time position with the User Services department at Columbia University. Four years later, with faculty status, post-graduate work in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science, but little money, he left academia to work for Boeing Computer Services, starting as a Technical Sales Representative working with clients such as: Chase Manhattan Bank, Johnson & Higgins, AT&T Longlines, Citibank and Price Waterhouse.
In 1982, Larry, now tech manager of BCS New York, saw the writing on the wall—actually, a PC on the desk—and left Boeing to start his own business as an independent consultant. Larry’s first client was the CBS News, Election Unit, where he wrote the House Race Analysis Model for that year’s congressional elections. Larry worked for CBS News again in 1984 and 1988, writing major segments of the election system, Larry’s other major client during the late Eighties and early Nineties was the Product Safety Information Systems division of the Mobil Oil Company. Larry was the principal programmer responsible for migrating Mobil’s safety data publishing systems to a relational database management system (SQL/DS), and to graphical, full screen, data entry and display technology. Larry also initiated the effort at Mobil to create a PC/CD-ROM version of Mobil’s complete MSDS database; a first in that industry.
Mobil’s product safety divisions were downsized and outsourced in the early Nineties and Larry left to do some work for Merrill Lynch. There, he converted a mortgage-backed security analysis system from an IBM mainframe to a UNIX-based client-server architecture.
In late 1993, Larry downloaded Mosaic from his old Alma Mater and discovered the World Wide Web. The proverbial writing was on the wall again and Larry became very active in the newsgroups and discussion lists devoted to Web authoring and publishing. In mid 1994 he was given the opportunity to author the first book on World Wide Web publishing, The HTML Manual of Style for Ziff-Davis Press. The first edition went through five printings and seven foreign languages and the second edition, “The HTML3 Manual of Style,” was equally successful. By 1995, Larry was teaching HTML around the country and on-line as well, creating and conducting the inaugural classes for Ziff-Davis University on Compuserve.
Larry lives in a Manhattan loft in the heart of “Silicon Alley” and devotes his time to building Web applications for individuals and small business; helping people work and live on the World Wide Web. He is a founder of the World Wide Web Artist’s Consortium, a former board member of the New York Software Industries Association, a founding member of the Social Media Club‘s New York City chapter, and a lifetime member of the Association for Computing Machinery.
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