George Joseph Laurer (born September 23, 1925 in New York, NY) developed the Universal Product Code, commonly known as the barcode, in 1973. Bar Codes - The History of Bar Code About.com As an engineer at IBM, he was asked to develop the pattern used for the Universal Product Code.
A 36-year veteran of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who retired in June 1987, George Laurer is the holder of 25 patents. He is also the author of 20 published Technical Disclosure Bulletins.
During his career, IBM recognized and rewarded him for many technical innovations. He received the prestigious “Raleigh, N.C. Inventor of the Year” award in 1976. In 1980, he was honored with IBM’s Corporate Technical Achievement award for his work on the Universal Product Code proposal that was issued in 1970 by McKinsey & Co. and Uniform Grocery Product Code Council, Inc.
Before joining IBM, he received the B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1951. He came to the University after having served in World War II and attending a technical school to learn radio and TV repair. Upon completion of his first year at the technical school, his instructor convinced him that he should not continue that course of study, but that he should go to college.
Today, Laurer lives in Wendell, North Carolina.