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Digital Pioneer Thomas Stockham Dies

Digital Pioneer Thomas Stockham Dies

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the death of Thomas G. Stockham Jr.
“More than 50 years ago, Stockham was frustrated listening to the hissing sounds that accompanied radio broadcasts and symphony recordings,” the paper reported. “His later work in computer science led to dramatic advances in the field of digital recording, the process of turning sound and images into computer codes, and made compact discs possible.”
It said Stockham died Tuesday of Alzheimer’s-related complications in Salt Lake City at age 70.
Stockham found Soundstream Inc., “considered to be the nation’s first commercial digital recording company.” It helped produce digital master recordings.
Stockham, who also worked as a University of Utah professor, eventually won a rare triple: an Oscar, Emmy and Grammy. He also was among the experts charged with studying the 18-minute gap on one of Richard Nixon’s secret White House tapes.
His interest in sound went back to his childhood. “The noise he heard when he listened to the radio drove him nuts,” the newspaper quoted his wife as saying.