Ray Tomlinson Biography
(Inventor of the First Email System)
Birthday: April 23, 1941 (Taurus)
Born In: Amsterdam, New York, U.S.
Raymond Tomlinson was an American computer programmer who was for long credited as the inventor of the email. He implemented the first email program on the ARPANET system in the early 1970s and was internationally known for inventing the email. However, following his death in early 2016, a controversy erupted over who actually invented the email with entrepreneur and innovator VA Shiva Ayyadurai claiming to have actually created it. But it is well accepted that it was Tomlinson who innovated the usage of the “@” sign to separate the user name from the name of their machine, an idea which was later adapted for forming email addresses. Born and raised in New York, he attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy and graduated with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He then proceeded to further his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for his master’s degree. He then took up a job with Bolt Beranek and Newman (now Raytheon BBN Technologies) where he played a major role in the development of the TENEX operating system including ARPANET Network Control Program and TELNET implementations. It was during his stint there that he created a program to send messages to other users of a time-sharing computer.