Richard Stallman Receives Prestigious 2001 Takeda Award

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Media Contact: Free Software Foundation
Bradley M. Kuhn <>
Phone: +1-617-542-5942

Tokyo, Japan - Monday, December 3, 2001 - The Takeda Foundation of Japan has named Richard M. Stallman, president of the Free Software Foundation and founder of the GNU project, as co-recipient of the 2001 Takeda Award. As part of this honor, Stallman will receive a monetary award of approximately 33 million yen (currently about US$268,000).

Dr. Stallman receives this honor for launching the Free Software Movement and leading the development of the GNU operating system. GNU, started by Stallman in 1984, is a completely Free Software operating system: it gives users the freedom to copy, share, modify and redistribute the software. The Free Software Movement, started along with GNU, advocates and defends these freedoms worldwide.

Stallman shares the full 2001 Takeda award of 100 million yen with two other recipients. Ken Sakamura receives the award for developing and promoting the TRON architecture, a real-time operating system specification for embedded systems. Linus Torvalds is honored for his work on the operating system kernel called Linux, which is normally used together with GNU. The GNU/Linux system, which combines GNU and Linux, has over 20 million users worldwide.

The Takeda foundation will bestow this year's award in a ceremony in Tokyo on December 4th. Stallman will attend the event, and speak about his work in the Free Software Movement.

In 1990, Stallman was awarded a $240,000 fellowship by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. As with the MacArthur award, Stallman will invest the Takeda award to pay his future living expenses, so that he can work full time promoting software freedom and coordinating the GNU project. Stallman receives no salary nor travel expenses from the FSF and assumes a modest living style to facilitate his continued work championing the cause of free software.

About GNU:

GNU is a Free Software Unix-like operating system. Development of GNU began in 1984. gives more information about GNU and its history.

GNU/Linux is the integrated combination of the GNU operating system with the kernel, Linux, written by Linus Torvalds in 1991. The various versions of GNU/Linux have an estimated 20 million users.

Some people call the GNU/Linux system “Linux”, but this misnomer leads to confusion (people cannot tell whether you mean the whole system or the kernel, one part), and spreads an inaccurate picture of how, when and where the system was developed. Making a consistent distinction between GNU/Linux, the whole operating system, and Linux, the kernel, is the best way to clear up the confusion. See for more explanation.

About the Free Software Foundation:

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of Free (as in freedom) Software—particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants—and Free Documentation for Free Software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software. Their web site, located at, is an important source of information about GNU/Linux. They are headquartered in Boston, MA, USA.