In 1989, Chris joined the San Francisco Examiner as picture editor and then as director of media development.
His Wikipedia entry explains his contribution to the Examiner, “Turning the Examiner into a ‘digital laboratory,’ he converted the newspaper from black and white to color by implementing a production system of his own design that used MacIntoshes to do color separations and made The Examiner the first major American daily to switch to full-color production using desktop technology.
“In 1994, Gulker’s editorial workflow system, dubbed the ‘virtual newsroom,’ was demonstrated at both Seybold shows and supported the creation of ‘a real Internet newspaper that used the Net throughout the process from story and photo solicitation to delivery.’ The system provided the publishing infrastructure for The Gate, the online newspaper jointly operated by the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicleâ€¦”
Before the San Francisco Examiner, he was staff photographer for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner from 1978. He was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize during his tenure.
About his years at the Herald Examiner, Chris wrote, “When I started at the Herald, it was a news-driven paper, focusing on freeway crashes and house fires. I kept a police and fire scanner in my car and in my house and pretty much worked ’round the clock without needing to be compensated for the extra time, I loved the job so much.”
San Francisco Chronicle photographer Paul Chinn worked with Chris for over 13 years at both the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the San Francisco Examiner. Paul says of Gulker, “I’d known that he’s been sick for a while but it’s always shocking to hear when things like this end up happening.”
After the San Francisco Examiner, Chris joined Apple in 1995 were he oversaw strategic relations for the company’s Design and Publishing Markets groups and served as “electronic publishing guru.” From 1997-2003, he wrote a technology column for London-based newspaper, The Independent. After leaving Apple, he joined the executive team of a number of startups and at the time of his cancer diagnosis was a product manager at Adobe Systems.
In 1995, Chris also started a personal website, which he maintained until the final days of his illness. Academics have cited gulker.com as one of the earliest weblogs â€“ “the first to propose a network of bloggers.” He also pioneered two of the most effective means through which blogging emerged as a social medium â€“ the blogroll and link attrition. In the past four years, he chronicled living with cancer and the challenges of reduced mobility with an aplomb and strength that many readers found remarkable and inspirational.
For the past 15 months, Chris was once again pounding the pavement as a press photographer, this time as a labor of love for the hyperlocal blog, InMenlo, that he started with his wife, Linda Hubbard Gulker, and friend Scott Loftesness. It was his portraits of local people, which showed considerable range and diversity, that gained the blog much of its following.
Chris was both high tech geek and artist, photographer, writer, pioneer in electronic publishing, product evangelist.
Initially drawn to science, his interest in photography was sparked by his high school teacher Bill Moos while attending Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, OH. He continued to take photos during his college years at Occidental College, where he graduated in 1974. Chris’s interests also included hiking, cooking and gardening.
In addition to his wife Linda and granddaughter Grace, Chris is survived by stepson John Getze and daughter-in-law Julie Getze.
Those wishing to make a contribution in Chris’s memory can do so either to Western Reserve Academy where a fund is being established in his name â€“ c/o James A. Gundy, Assistant Head of School, Western Reserve Academy, 115 College Street, Hudson, Ohio 44236 â€“ or to the University of California San Francisco, 514 Parnassus Avenue, P.O. Box 45339, San Francisco, CA 94145-0339 for continued brain tumor research.
A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held on Friday, Nov. 12 at 2:00 pm at Trinity Church in Menlo Park.
You can send a note to Linda Hubbard Gulker
Story contributed by Linda Hubbard Gulker