Albert Cory (pen name for Bob Purvy)

I grew up on the far South Side of Chicago, where both my parents had grown up as well; in fact, I went to the same high school that both of them attended (Fenger, whose most famous alumnus was Eliot Ness). My two brothers were much older than I was, so I was practically an only child. I went to the library religiously. I graduated third in a high school class of 729.

When I started college, as the first of my family to attend college, I was an Electrical Engineering major. After 8 weeks I had switched into Psychology, which horrified my parents. I was never really a science nerd, though, and didn't like the Chemistry and Physics courses. Nonetheless, after a year of Psych, I decided I wanted to have a job when I left school, and I switched again into Mathematics and Computer Science. This worked for me, and I stuck with it all the way to a Master's in Computer Science, also at the U of I.

My first job was at Burroughs in Irvine, California (after a short purgatory in Detroit). After three years there, I was lucky enough to be hired at Xerox to work on the Star, which is the subject of my book Inventing the Future. "Dan Markunas," one of the main characters, is modeled on me. The name was chosen because it's Lithuanian, which was my Dad's ancestry.

The Star effort was still the best job I ever had, and it probably spoiled me for all other jobs.

Why "Albert Cory" instead of "Bob Purvy"?

Because it's more fun to have a pen name, I guess. "Bob Purvy" is not a deadname, and you're welcome to call me that.

After I saw some people referred to as "pervy" I realized again that my name does sound like "pervert." My niece Lisa said she waited her whole life to get married and lose that name, and now she's "Lisa Cory." I thought that was a good name. So it's still in the family.

"Albert" was my Dad's brother, who was killed in an accident on his very first day on the job at Swift & Co. in the Stockyards. I never got to meet him.

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