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Email creator, Ray Tomlinson, inducted into Internet Hall of Fame

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. April 23, 2012 April 23 Internet Society’s Global INET 2012 meeting Geneva, Switzerland

"I am honored to be selected to the Internet Hall of Fame and have my name mentioned among such an elite and accomplished group," said Tomlinson. "The invention of email came out of a personal desire for a more convenient and functional way to communicate. Basically, I was looking for a method that did not require the person to be there when the message was sent and enabled the receiver to read and answer communications at their convenience. I still use email every day. In fact, it is my preferred form of communication."

In 1971, Tomlinson developed ARPANET’s first application for network email by combining the SNDMSG and CPYNET programs, allowing messages to be sent to users on other computers. He chose the "@" sign to separate local from global emails in the mailing address. Person-to-person network email was born and "user@host" became the standard for email addresses — and remains so to this day.

Tomlinson’s email program revolutionized communications, fundamentally changing the way people and organizations interact and altering the cadence of every day life. Businesses, from global companies to tiny shops, transformed the way they communicated. People changed their ways of doing everything from shopping to banking to staying in touch with friends and family — whether across town or on the other side of the world. Today, an estimated 1.9 billion people worldwide use email to communicate. They are sending 300 billion emails a day, eliminating traditional barriers of time and space.

Ray Tomlinson MIT

About The Internet Society and Its Internet Hall of Fame

The Internet Society is the world’s trusted independent source of Internet leadership. The organization promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and future development among users, companies, governments, and other organizations. Working with its members and Chapters around the world, the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone.

The Internet Society established the Internet Hall of Fame this year to mark its 20th birthday and to acknowledge the Internet’s profound impact. An Advisory Board of computer scientists, software engineers, Internet developers, historians, executives, venture capitalists, authors, researchers, futurists, academics, analysts, and journalists selected Internet Hall of Fame honorees from an open nomination process.

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