A Sad Farewell to CGW's Founder
July 27, 2015

A Sad Farewell to CGW's Founder

In the early years of computer graphics, about the time when Microsoft and Apple were getting started, Joel and N’omi Orr founded the “Computer Graphics Newsletter,” which soon evolved into  Computer Graphics World  magazine under the ownership of Randall Stickrod in March 1978.

Randy was a visionary. He saw the potential of this industry. So he launched this publication, which would chronicle many major milestones in CG, eventually handing the reins to others to continue what he had started. He did so knowing he had other passions to pursue, other goals to meet. And did.

Sadly, Randy was taken from this life a few days ago, loosing a short battle with an extremely aggressive form of cancer. Taken too soon, with so much more left to give.

I met Randy while working on one of the anniversary issues of CGW. We became Facebook friends, and I enjoyed his many posts, words of wisdom, words of appreciation, insights, and plans. 

Randy’s brother Greg reminds us about a book he published called “The Road to 100” about healthy longevity. “He lived what he spoke; did not smoke; one glass of red wine per day; exercised daily. He ate real food, especially greens and other veggies. He was 71 but had the body of a 25-year-old,” Greg said. But, cancer can be a formidable opponent.

Randy was a Renaissance man. His first job out of college at the University of Oregon (physics) was as a rocket scientist for Hughes Aircraft in Turkey. He returned to graduate school for physics, Greg tells us, but his attentions turned to publishing, and in 1978 he began publishing Computer Graphics World. He eventually sold it for quite a large sum of money to PennWell Publishing in 1981 and stayed on as publisher until 1985. (In 2006, PennWell sold the magazine to the current owner, COP Communications.) 

Randy was an entrepreneur. He was founder and CEO of a number of successful media properties in hi-tech and consumer areas, including The Readerville Journal and founding executive publisher of Wired, and was consultant to numerous others. 

In addition, he was CEO of several leading-edge technology companies. 

Yet Randy was so much more than an intellectual, scientist, businessman, writer. In high school, he was awarded the best athlete of the year during his senior year. He was a climber, biker, sailor, and more. “He strived for excellence in everything he did,” Greg says. 

Most recently, he was a principal at Sociative, Inc., which he has described as “a radical new analysis and content delivery startup, derived from the social graph of the real-time web” in his LinkedIn. 

For those who knew him, know you will be touched forever by his kindness and mentorship.