An end of an era – Raymond Tomlinson, the “godfather of email” died on Saturday morning due to a suspected heart attack at the age of 74. Tomlinson, who was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012, is best known for rescuing the @ symbol from obscurity and, in the process, shaping the way we talk about being online.
Tomlinson, while working in Research and Development firm Bolt Beranek and Newman in Boston developed a system that transfers images between intranets by implementations of the ARPANET and TELNET protocols. He chose the @ sign to separate local from global emails in the mailing address. It is a rotund and cozy symbol sleek enough to have been inducted into MOMA’s architecture and design collection.
Internet Hall of Fame acknowledges Raymond Tomlinson on their official website.
“Today, tens of millions of email-enabled devices are in use every day. Email remains the most popular application, with over a billion and a half users spanning the globe and communicating across the traditional barriers of time and space,” his biography reads.
In 2012, Tomlinson was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame along with with the likes Linux inventor Linus Torvalds & Sir Tim Berners Lee, the godfather of the web and his work impact over one and a half billion email users today.
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