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)

Mitchell David Kapor photo 


Mitchell David Kapor, cofounder of the Lotus Development Corporation, co-authored with colleagues the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet software program that helped ignite the personal computer revolution in the early 1980s. Mitch Kapor, as he is popularly known, was trained at MIT's Sloan School of Management in 1979. Kapor, who heads the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a public interest group on computer issues, is one of the Internet's strongest advocates. 

  Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider (1915-1990), a talented psychologist, became the first director of Information Processing Research and Behavioral Science at ARPA from 1962 to 1964. In those days, ARPA's computer unit was within Command and Control Research and it was later renamed IPTO, the Information Processing Techniques Office. 

Licklider had a strong feeling that the computer's strength was as a communications device, rather than an arithmetic aid. He and Robert Taylor thought of ways to make computers more efficient by connecting them in networks. In 1968, Licklider and Taylor published a paper suggesting that computers could serve as communication devices. They pushed for an experimental network, one that would create new communities of scientists separated by geography but united by technology (Kantrowitz and Rogers, 1994). 

Carl Malamud photo  Carl Malamud acted as a cyber Santa on the Internet in 1993. He got the idea when someone asked him if Santa was on the Internet. When he could not find one, he decided to be it. Malamud was then the president of the Internet Multicasting Service, a Washington-based nonprofit group devoted to Internet services such as putting online everything from government documents to broadcasts of National Public Radio

As cyber Santa, Malamud separated each morning children's requests from adults' and placed each piece of mail in categories--like a Porsche file, a train file, a thesis trouble file (for anguished graduate students). His Santa could be reached at or According to Malamud, the expanding reach of cyberspace was evident in the number of children with their own Internet addresses--although most of them were using a parent's account, a lot of them had their own account. 

Malamud has done several innovative things relating to the Internet; from authoring books to creating the Internet 1996 World Exposition. He is the founder of Internet Multicasting Service. Other projects he has been involved with include First Virtual Banking, Internet Talk Radio, Internet Town Hall, and Geek of the Week. His ability to operate as a nonprofit organization is interesting and a testament to his ability to get people excited about the future of the World Wide Web. 

  Bob Metcalfe in 1973 invented Ethernet, a type of computer network that allows for extremely fast transmission of information. He founded 3Com Corporation in 1979, and was InfoWorld's publisher and CEO. He also serves on MIT's boards of trustees. 

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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