Notable deaths in IT during 2009

Saluting those who advanced the technology industry.

Among those lost this year have been a co-founder of storage giant EMC, a Dungeons & Dragons creator and an adviser to the Google founders in the company's infancy.

Mike Homer, 50 (February)

Mike Homer, 50 (February)

Homer rose to prominence in the industry as head of Netscape's marketing department in the 1990s, when the company went public and fought a losing battle vs. Microsoft that resulted in a landmark antitrust case. Homer previously served as a sidekick to former Apple CEO John Sculley during the 1980s, and led the marketing team for Go, an early handheld device software company. Later, he joined fellow ex-Netscape employees in forming Kontiki , a P2P content distribution company.

Jack Louis, 32 (March)

Jack Louis, 32 (March)

Louis was a security researcher in Sweden whose accomplishments included writing a scan tool called Unicornscan. His untimely death during a fire in his home became widely reported because he had recently discovered a major TCP/IP networking flaw that could be used to take down Internet servers via what's known as a Sockstress attack, and others scrambled to pick up where he left off.

Dave Arneson, 61 (April)

Dave Arneson, 61 (April)

Arneson was co-creator of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. Wired wrote: "It was Arneson's spark that transformed [Gary] Gygax's game Chainmail into the first edition of D&D, and begat everything that followed." Sadly, co-creator Gygax passed away about a year earlier. Arneson was inducted into Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design Hall of Fame in 1984 .

Rajeev Motwani, 47 (June)

Rajeev Motwani, 47 (June)

As a Stanford University professor, Motwani advised Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page during Google's infancy while they were in college, and was an angel investor in big Silicon Valley companies such as Google and PayPal. Motwani won the Godel Prize, a major computer science award, in 2001. Brin wrote on his blog , following Motwani's death: "Today, whenever you use a piece of technology, there is a good chance a little bit of Rajeev Motwani is behind it."

Richard Egan, 73 (August)

Richard Egan, 73 (August)

Egan co-founded storage giant EMC with Roger Marino in 1979 and served as its CEO until 1992. They gave the company its start by selling office furniture. EMC now employees 40,000 people and boasted revenue for calendar year 2008 of about $15 billion. Egan not only made his mark in business, but also served in the marines and as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland under President George W. Bush. EMC CEO Joseph Tucci said upon Egan's death: "The world has lost a great man and a great leader."

Shel Dorf

Shel Dorf, 76 (November)

Comic book fan Shel Dorf founded the Comic-Con convention in 1970, and at the first event just 300 people showed up. This year, at the Comic-Con International event in San Diego more than 125,000 comic book, sci-fi, and video game aficionados showed up to rub shoulders with their heroes and get a sneak look at upcoming movies, TV shows and games. (Credit: GamePro)

Share your memories of those recalled in our slideshow and let us know if there are others worth noting.