John Cocke (May 30, 1925 - July 16, 2002) was an American computer scientist recognised for his large contribution to computer architecture and optimizing compiler design. He is considered by many to be "the father of RISC architecture."
He attended Duke University, where he received his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1946 and his Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1953. Cocke spent his entire career as an industrial researcher for IBM, from 1956 to 1992.
Perhaps the project where his innovations were most noted was in the IBM 801 minicomputer, where his realization that matching the design of the architecture's instruction set to the relatively simple instructions actually emitted by compilers could allow high performance at a low cost.
Cocke won the ACM Turing Award in 1987, the National Medal of Technology in 1991 and the National Medal of Science in 1994.
He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and died in Valhalla, New York.