Raymond Tomlinson, the man who basically invented email as we know it today, passed on, last Saturday at the age on 74.
He invented E-mails in 1971 where a user on one network could send a message to someone to different network. Email existed in a limited capacity before Tomlinson in that electronic messages could be shared amid multiple people within a limited framework.
Tomlinson also chose the “@” symbol to connect the username with the destination address and it has now become a cultural icon.
Thank you, Ray Tomlinson, for inventing email and putting the @ sign on the map. #RIP
— Gmail (@gmail) March 6, 2016
“It is with great sadness we acknowledge the passing of our colleague and friend, Ray Tomlinson. A true technology pioneer, Ray was the man who brought us email in the early days of networked computers.” Raytheon said in a statement. “His work changed the way the world communicates and yet, for all his accomplishments, he remained humble, kind and generous with his time and talents, He will be missed by one and all.”
He was a holder of many awards over his lifetime for emails and other accolades, but he couldn’t tell what first email was ever sent said.
“I sent a number of test messages to myself from one machine to the other. The test messages were entirely forgettable and I have, therefore, forgotten them.” Tomlinson explained, during an interview with the New York Times in 2009.
And surprisingly, Tomlinson was not a frequent checker of email himself.
According to a biography on the Internet Hall of Fame, Tomlinson was born in Amsterdam, New York in 1941. He attended college at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he participated in an internship program with IBM and received a degree in electrical engineering in 1963. He later earned a S.M. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. USA Today reports