<person> The promulgator of the punched card. Hollerith was born on 1860-02-29 and died on 1929-11-17. He graduated from Columbia University, NewYork, NY, USA. He joined the US Census Bureau as a statistician where he used a punched card device to help analyse the 1880 US census data. This punched card system stored data in 80 columns. This "80-column" concept has carried forward in various forms into modern applications.
A correspondant writes:
Wasn't Hollerith's original machine first used for the 1990 US census? And I think I am right in saying that the physical layout was a 20x12 grid of round holes. The one I have seen (picture only, unfortunately, not the real thing) did not use 'columns' as such but holes were grouped into irregularly-shaped fields, such that each hole had a more-or-less independent function.