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Tom Kilburn was a figure of the first importance in the history of computer design, contributing to the development of five important computers over three decades. On casual acquaintance, Kilburn was a self- contained person who chose his words with care. Still, he possessed a somewhat dominating personality and was a natural team leader who inspired great loyalty and affection from those who worked closely with him. F.C. Williams summed up Kilburn in a simple sentence: "What you must always remember is that Tom is a Yorkshireman."