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Barcode inventor George Laurer, 94, dies in Wendell

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WENDELL — The former IBM engineer credited with inventing the Universal Product Code format for barcodes printed on products around the world died last week at his home in Wendell.

George J. Laurer was 94, according to his obituary. He died Dec. 5.

Laurer worked as an electrical engineer at IBM in North Carolina for more than 30 years, the Strickland Funeral Home & Crematory obituary said. In addition to barcodes, Laurer patented more than a dozen scanning and computer devices, including the first handheld barcode scanner in 1976.

“George Laurer’s work has touched and improved the daily lives of nearly everyone in the world,” the obituary said.

He lived in Wendell at the time of his death. He was burried at Montlawn Memorial Park on Monday.

Laurer was born 1925 in New York City and survived polio as a teenager. During World War II he served in the Army and later graduated from the University of Maryland in 1951.

Laurer is an inductee of the University of Maryland Engineering Innovation Hall of Fame and the school’s Alumni Hall of Fame. Last month, he received the School of Engineering’s 125th Anniversary Medal.

He is survived by children in Clayton, Raleigh, Kentucky and Connecticut.