By Mary Bellis
BASIC (standing for Beginner's All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) was written (invented) in 1963, at Dartmouth College, by mathematicians John George Kemeny and Tom Kurtzas as a teaching tool for undergraduates. BASIC has been one of the most commonly used computer programming languages, a simple computer language considered an easy step for students to learn before more powerful languages such as FORTRAN.
BASIC's popularity was spread by both Paul Allen and William Gates, in 1975. Gates and Allen (both Microsoft founding fathers) wrote a version of BASIC for the Altair personal computer. It was the first product Microsoft sold. Later Gates and Microsoft wrote versions of BASIC for the Apple computer, and IBM's DOS which Gates provided came with its' version of BASIC.
A brief history of BASIC.
All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC)
Longer, more detailed history of BASIC.
BASIC Code Archives
For those of you wishing to program in BASIC.
General background information on computer languages.
History of Programming
Timeline of programming history.