See also Net Moguls and Wendy's Technoprophets

Important People | Important Dates in Internet History |
Important Dates in the History of Commerce on the Internet


Important People: Principal Figures in the Development of the Internet and the World Wide Web


Marc Andreessen  John Perry Barlow  Tim Berners-Lee  Jeff Bezos 
Vannevar Bush  Steve Case  Vinton G. Cerf  James H. Clark 
Steve Crocker  Doug Engelbart  David Filo and Jerry Yang
(external link)
Bill Gates 
Rob Glaser  Al Gore  James Gosling  Robert E. Kahn 
Mitchell David Kapor  Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider  Carl Malamud  Bob Metcalfe 
Nicholas Negroponte  Ted H. Nelson Mark Pesce Jonathan B. Postel
Linus Torvalds Larry Wall Phil Zimmerman Other pioneers
(external link)

Vannevar Bush photo  Vannevar Bush (1908-1974) was an electrical engineer at MIT and an influential science adviser to President Roosevelt and the federal government during and after World War II. Bush was the originator of the concept of hypertext. In 1945, Bush proposed MEMEX, a conceptual machine that can store vast amounts of information, in which users have the ability to create information trails, links of related texts and illustrations, which can be stored and used for future reference. Bush was Claude Shannon's mentor. Shannon formulated the information theory that included a definition of the concept of information, an entropic measure of information, and propositions about communication flow. 

Steve Case photo  Steve Case is the founder and CEO of America Online. Described as "more management wonk than techie geek," Case has built AOL into the nation's dominant online service provider. Case worked for Pizza Hut before joining the company that became AOL in 1983. Today his holdings are valued at $ 1.18 billion. In November 1998, AOL agreed to buy Internet software maker Netscape Communications Corp., creating a more formidable online rival to Microsoft Corp.

Vinton G. Cerf photo  Vinton G. Cerf is a computer scientist who is known throughout the industry as the primary force behind the development of the Internet. He has been called the "Father of the Internet" and the "King of the Internet." 

Cerf's hearing was severely impaired since birth. Although this loss largely was corrected with hearing aids, worn since age 13, it was awkward for Cerf during telephone conversations when he missed the name of a caller or someone expected to be recognized by voice. 

According to Cerf, "I may flounder a bit and often resort to tricks to figure out who the heck it is." No tricks are required with e-mail. The ability to communicate over the computer has helped Cerf immeasurably. Ever since the 1970s, Cerf has worked to encourage deaf people to use personal computers that handle e-mail. Cerf's work in networking dates to 1969, when he was a graduate student in computer science at the University of California at Los Angeles. He was one of a handful of young programmers and hardware engineers involved in the installation of the first "node" of the original, four-node ARPAnet, the precursor to the Internet. 

Cerf continued his work in networks while an assistant professor at Stanford University in the early 1970s, and in 1976 went to work for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, leaving in 1982 to work on the design of MCI Mail, now one of the nation's largest e-mail systems. 

In January 1994 after an eight-year absence, Cerf returned to MCI to help the MCI Communications Corporation in an ambitious six-year, $20 billion project called networkMCI

James H. Clark photo  James H. Clark, a former Stanford University professor, founded Silicon Graphics Inc. in 1981 and turned it into a leader in the work station market. In 1994 he formed a new company, now named Netscape Communications aimed at producing what he sees as computing's next big trend: navigating cyberspace. 

Clark is the cofounder of the company with Marc Andreessen, a 24-year-old computer designer who helped create Mosaic as an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Clark's new company, based in Mountain View, CA, also has hired six other members of the original Mosaic development team from the National Center for Supercomputer Applications at the university. 

Important People | Important Dates in Internet History |
Important Dates in the History of Commerce on the Internet

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Last modified: January 16, 1999 by Kathy Olson
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