Bruce Bastian Died at 76, Cofounder of Wordperfect

Bruce Bastian Died at 76, Cofounder of Wordperfect

Bruce Wayne Bastian, was born on March 23, 1948, and Bruce Bastian died at 76, he was an American computer programmer, businessperson, and philanthropist. He co-founded the Wordperfect Software Company (originally known as Satellite Software International) with Alan Ashton in 1978. He went on to become a prominent Utah philanthropist and a supporter of the LGBT community.

Death Cause of Bruce Bastian

Bruce Bastian died on June 16, 2024, A family friend shared that he died in Palm Springs, California of pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 76. He died on Sunday morning, according to Troy Williams, who is an executive Director of Equality Utah.

Early Life and Education

Bruce Bastian was born on March 23, 1948, in Twin Falls, Idaho. He was a missionary in Italy and was raised as a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. From Brigham Young University(BYU), he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master’s degree in Computer Science in Provo, Utah. When he was pursuing his graduation, he served as the of the BYU Cougar Marching Band. He developed a software program to help choreograph marching band performances with Alan Ashton.

Personal Life of Bruce Bastian

In 1976, Bastian married Melanie Laycock. They were married for 17 years and divorced in 1993. Melanie Bestian passed in 2016, and her mansion in Oren opened in 2023 as the Utah Valley University Museum of Art at Lakemount Manor.

Bastian married his partner Clint Ford in 2018. In a 2020 interview for the podcast series Mormon Stories, Bastian reflected on getting married to Ford, saying he was “ Happier than he has ever been.”

Bastian was the co-founder of Wordperfect, the word processing application, he launched as a grad student at Brigham Young University with his professor, Alan Ashton, in 1979. WordPerfect, originally designed for Orem, became immensely popular in the 80s and 90s.

He entered the world of big money and high technology, but he never touched with that faith.

By the early 1990s, WordPerfect was among the most successful software companies in the world, employing 7000 people and making Bastian and Ashton Wealthy. It was the mainstay of the early days of home computing; at one point it was the fourth-largest software in the world. He remained until 1994 when Novell bought the company.

In 1991, Forbes estimated Bastian and Ashton’s net worth was $600 million each. That year, The New York Times the privately owned company, with Bastian as chairman, ranked fourth among personal computer software publishers behind Microsoft, Lotus, and Novell. 

In 1994, Novell, also based in Utah, bought WordPerfect and put Bastian on its board of directors; he resigned a year later. Bastian devoted much of his wealth to philanthropy, especially supporting the LGBT community in Utah. 

He founded the B.W. Bastian Foundation in 1997, donating to the Human Rights Campaign, the Utah Pride Center, Equality Utah, and other charities. He spent more than two decades as a board member of the HRC, plus was a main supporter of the arts, backing organizations like the Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, and Ballet West.

In 2010, Bastian Spoke to Salt Lake City weekly about experience of background on why he was interested in funding the arts. Unless you want to be unfeeling robots, we need something artistic in our lives. If you believe in spiritual nurturing, the arts touch the soul,” Bastian said”.

Most people think of gay rights or HRC (Human Rights Campaign) when they hear my name. I do not see the connection between me and the arts. I will be remembered for what I am remembered for,” Bastian told City Weekly in 2010.

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