Gale Marshall

Celebrating The Independent’s 25th anniversary are (Lynn Seppala, Gale Marshall, David Lowell, and Joan Seppala.

Gale Marshall, who died in 2011, was a mainstay of The Independent from the beginning.

By becoming The Independent’s first investor in 1962, Gale helped launch the paper. During the year when The Independent was in its formative stages, he advised in every area, even helping all night at the press in Milpitas as the first issue emerged September 21, 1963.

Though living on a modest salary from the Lab, he invested $5,000.

He introduced The Independent to electronic typesetting machines before other area newspapers took advantage of the new technology. Fascinated by the variety of issues, he wrote software for the circulation, sales and business departments. He worked over weekends and sometimes into the night to keep all the equipment running so that the newspaper could make its deadlines.

Born on April 27, 1932 in Richmond, California, he grew up in Oakland, and attended UC Berkeley until he volunteered for the draft during the Korean War. He served in the Army in Munich, Germany. He returned to Cal Berkeley in 1957, and was hired the same year by Lawrence Radiation Laboratory.

Gale became involved in advanced programming, writing programs for programmers. A pioneer in the field, he was known in particular for writing assemblers, programs close to machine language.

Gale retired from the Lab in 1976, but continued as a consultant for a time. He increased his consulting role for The Independent newspaper, taking it into uncharted waters before desk top computers were generally available.

David Lowell said of Gale, “In the course of a newspaper career of almost 50 years, I can think of very few people who have stood out as much for me. His straightforward, common sense approach; his drive to do things right; a willingness to work all night, if necessary, to keep The Independent running smoothly and his friendship, understanding and humor all made Gale a wonderful person with whom to share a career. In all ways, Gale has helped create a rock solid foundation for our newspaper.”