In one form or another, C has influenced the shape of almost every programming language developed since the 1980s. Some languages like C++, C#, and objective C are intended to be direct successors to the language, while other languages have merely adopted and adapted C's syntax. A programmer conversant in Java, PHP, Ruby, Python or Perl will have little difficulty understanding simple C programs, and in that sense, C may be thought of almost as a lingua franca among programmers.
But C did not emerge fully formed out of thin air as some programming monolith. The story of C begins in England, with a colleague of Alan Turing and a program that played checkers.
From Ars Technica
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