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Tech pioneer William Hewlett dead at 87

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One of the earliest pioneers of what today is called the New Economy, Hewlett-Packard co-founder William Hewlett, died in his sleep of natural causes Friday at the age of 87.

He and his late partner, David Packard, started the company in 1938 in a leased garage with less than $600, and developed it into a corporation worth nearly $50 billion today. The two met while enrolled as engineering students at Stanford University.

Hewlett served as HP President and CEO until the late 1970's, and Vice Chairman until 1987. Over the years he developed a reputation as an informal, amiable boss, often working comfortably alongside junior engineers on projects which interested him.

He is survived by his wife, five children from his first marriage, five stepchildren from his second marriage, and a legacy in the range of $9 billion. ®

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