Konrad Zuse created Plankalkul for engineering purposes.
John Backus created Fortran to make computer programming easier and faster. Fortran stands for FORmula TRANslator.
A group led by Charles Katz created MATH-MATIC to improve FORTRAN.
John McCarthy originally created Lisp to serve as a practical mathematical notation for computer programs. Lisp stands for List Processing Language.
IBM created RPG to mimic punched card processing on the IBM 1401. RPG stands for Report Program Generator.
A group called the Conference on Data Systems Languages (CODASYL) created COBOL for developing businesses, typically ones that used file-oriented applications. COBOL stands for Common Business Oriented Language.
John George Kemeny and Thomas Eugene Kurtz created BASIC so it could be easy to use by anyone. BASIC stands for Beginners All Purpose Symolic Instruction Code.
Wally Feurzeig and Seymour Papert created LOGO to improve the Lisp programming language, by making it easier to read.
D.M. Ritchie and K.L. Thompson created B to be used mainly for non-numeric system applications, like system programming.
Nicklaus Wirth created PASCAL to provide programmers with a structured programming style.
Dennis Ritchie created C to be portable.
Robin Milner created ML to develop proof tactices in the LCF theorem prover. ML stands for metalanguage.
Donald D. Chamberlin and Raymond F. Boyce created SQL to manipulate and retreive data stored in IBM's System R. It used to be called SEQUEL, which stood for Structured English Query Language.
A team led by Dr. Jean Ichiban created ADA for large, long-lived applications where extreme reliablitly and efficiency is needed.
Bjarne Stroutstrup created C++ to improve C by adding object orientation to it. It still kept the same benefits of C, because it stayed compatible with it.
Guido van Rossum created Python based on the ABC programming language. Python was designed to be able to work with exception handling and interfacing with the Amoeba operating system.
Microsoft created Visual Basic to be easy to use by all people. It was designed to not have the same issues that its competitors C, C++, Pascal, etc. had. BASIC stands for Beginners All-purpose Symbloic Instruction Code.
Rasmus Lerdof created PHP to make generating dynamic pieces of Web pages easy and efficient. PHP stands for Personal Home Pages.
Borland created Delphi as an application tool for Windows.
Sun's programmers (the "Green Team") created Java to fix their problem of the uncompatibility between the different systems and libraries they had to work with.