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Around 1940, linear programming was an idea whose time had come. Accordingly, it was discovered three times, independently, between 1939 and 1947, but each time in a somewhat different form dictated by the special circumstances of that discovery. The first discovery was by L. V. Kantorovich, a Soviet citizen, the second was by T. C. Koopmans, Dutch, and the third by G. B. Dantzig, American. The third discovery turned out to be the most general and convenient form, and led to the theory of linear programming as we know it today.