Reynold B. Johnson (Computer Scientist)


Reynold B. Johnson was an American inventor and computer pioneer. A long-time employee of IBM, Johnson is said to be the “father” of the hard disk drive. Other inventions include automatic test scoring equipment and the videocassette tape.

Born: 16, 1906, Minnesota, U.S.
Died: 15, 1998, Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Nationality: American
Alma mater: University of Minnesota
Occupation: Inventor, Computer pioneer
Awards: Computer Pioneer Award (1987)

About Reynold B. Johnson

Inventor and computer pioneer who invented the first computer hard disk drive while working for IBM in 1956. He also invented the videocassette tape while worming for Sony.

Before Fame

He developed the technology to convert pencil-marked card to be converted to punch cards readable by computers, which became popular in both the private and public sector businesses.


The first disk drive he built was made up of 50 double-sided magnetic disks, each 24 inches in diameter, and together weighing a ton; it stored 5 megabytes of data.

Family Life

He had a daughter and two sons with his wife, Beatrice.


President Ronald Reagan awarded him the the National Medal of Technology in 1986 .

Information related to Reynold B. Johnson

  • IBM Research computer scientists
  • IBM Fellows
  • National Medal of Technology recipients
  • IBM employees

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