Joan Fischer Targ, computer literacy activist

Publication Date: Wednesday Jun 17, 1998

Joan Fischer Targ, computer literacy activist

Joan Fischer Targ, known for her work in the field of computer literacy and for being the sister of chess champion Bobby Fischer, died in her home after a cerebral hemorrhage on June 8. She was 60.

She was a resident of Palo Alto and had lived in the area for 36 years.

Born in Moscow, Targ moved often as a child and eventually came to California to attend the College of Notre Dame in Belmont to earn her master's degree in education.

She taught at Peninsula schools, including Jordan Middle School in Palo Alto, where she coordinated a computer-literacy program for gifted children. Targ created the Institute of Microcomputing in Education at Stanford University as well as the Stanford International Micro Computer Institute with her business partner, computer scientist Jeff Levinsky.

For her efforts in computer education, her husband, Russell Targ, called her a "visionary and pioneer in many areas of the city." Most recently, she was involved in a 20-year-long, but eventually successful, court battle over her proposal for an organic farm on her land in Portola Valley.

She was also the sister of chess champion Bobby Fischer and is credited with teaching him how to play.

She is survived by her husband; two sons, Alexander Targ of Palo Alto and Nicholas Targ of Washington, D.C.; a daughter, Elizabeth Targ of San Francisco; and three grandchildren.

Services have been held.

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