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)

Rob Glaser photo  Rob Glaser is the founder and CEO of RealNetworks, the leader in Internet streaming technology for video and audio. He worked for Microsoft for ten years before leaving to found RealNetworks. The first RealPlayer (an application that allows users to hear and see audio/video files) was released in 1995, and the company registered its 50 millionth user in January 1999. Glaser is also member of President Clinton's Advisory Committee on Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters.  

Al Gore photo  Al Gore, on January 14, 1994, became the first U.S. vice president to hold a live interactive news conference on an international computer network. Gore has become the point man in the Clinton administration's effort to build a national information highway much as his father, former Senator Albert Gore, was a principal architect of the interstate highway system a generation or more earlier. The White House has taken a technological leap under Gore, who as a senator was known for his eagerness to embrace technology issues that many of his colleagues were reluctant to tackle. Gore's e-mail address during his tenure is:

  James Gosling, of Sun Microsystems, developed Java, an object-oriented language that resolves several of the World Wide Web's programming and functionality problems. Gosling, regarded by some as "the world's greatest living programmer," originally designed Java for use in interactive TV. Believing the interactive TV market to be a dead end, Sun has decided to use this technology on the Web. Java programs allow animation to appear in Web windows, background music to play, and text to scroll across the screen in real time, just to name a few things. 

  Robert E. Kahn coined the term "information infrastructure." He was responsible for the design and development of the ARPAnet at Bolt Beranek and Newman in the late 1960s. In 1972, he moved to Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the former name of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, and later became director of Information Processing Techniques Office of the DARPA. It was Kahn who initiated the billion-dollar Strategic Computing Program, the largest computer research and development program the U.S. government has ever undertaken. Many of the projects funded by agencies like the Office of Naval Research derived their support from funds allocated by this program. 

In 1986, Kahn started with Vinton G. Cerf the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, a nonprofit organization engaged in the design, research and development of an experimental information infrastructure. 

Kahn developed with Cerf a set of technical standards, called protocols, that multiple networks could use, which paved the way for Internet. It was a common language spoken by computers throughout the Internet. The first work on that language came from literally sketching the idea out on the back of an envelope in a San Francisco hotel in 1973 while Cerf and Kahn attended a computer conference. 

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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