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    This interview mentions that Brian Fox was the first employee of the FSF. What I’ve heard is that this is because Stallman was able to recruit people to work on every other aspect of the GNU operating system without a salary, or work on it himself – the compiler, linker, runtime libraries, editors, build system, many other user space utilities, even the kernel, etc. Little progress was being made on the shell, so he decided to pay someone to do it :)