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)

Nicholas Negroponte photo  Nicholas Negroponte, founder and director of the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is author of Being Digital, a book about the coming information age. 

Ted H. Nelson photo  Ted H. Nelson, is the inventor of many common ideas related to hypertext, including the words "hypertext" and "hypermedia." Nelson defined hypertext as "a body of written or pictorial material interconnected in [such] a complex way that it could not be conveniently represented on paper." The principle of hypertext is to associate information through "links" into a coherent organization. Nelson has been designing computer text systems on his own since 1960, and may thus be considered one of the inventors of word processing. Nelson's book, Literary Machines 91.1, reports on the 

Mark Pesce photo  After dropping out of MIT, Mark Pesce went on to create VRML in 1994 with Tony Parisi in a San Francisco coffeehouse. VRML is Virtual Reality Modeling Language. It is used to create Web pages that contain 3-D graphics that can be rotated and manipulated as well as virtual reality worlds, such as rooms in which users can "walk around." Pesce lectures about VRML and promotes its use in e-commerce on the Web. He is also the author of VRML Browsing and Building in Cyberspace.

Jonathan B. Postel photo  Jonathan B. Postel (1943 - 1998), was one of the computer scientists who created the Arpanet, the precursor to the Internet. He was best known as the creator of the Internet's address system. For 30 years, he ran the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a government-funded agency that administers Internet addresses. He was also the editor of "Request for Comments" (RFCs), a series of published technical standards governing the operation of the Net, and director of the Computer Networks division at the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) of the University of Southern California. Postel died in October 1998 of complications from heart surgery. At the time of his death, he was working to establish IANA as a non-profit corporation, independent of the government and with an international Board of Directors.  

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

[top of page] | next page -->

© 1997, 1999 University of North Carolina
Last modified: January 16, 1999 by Kathy Olson
Send comments and questions to