Inventor of email, Ray Tomlinson, dies aged 74
"Ray Tomlinson, widely considered to be the creator of email as we know it today, has died of a suspected heart attack aged 74.
Tomlinson was one of the pioneers of ARPANET, the predecessor of the internet created by DARPA, where he set up the first email system in 1971, although it would be six years until it became the widespread standard.
He is also credited with taking the ‘@’ symbol and transforming it from a shorthand only used by the likes of greengrocers into one of the most recognisable and influential in the world.
Explaining his choice of the ‘@’ symbol, Tomlinson said: ‘I chose to append an 'at' sign and the host name to the user's (login) name. I am frequently asked why I chose the ‘at’ sign, but the ‘at’ sign just makes sense. The purpose of the ‘at’ sign (in English) was to indicate a unit price (for example, 10 items @ $1.95). I used the 'at' sign to indicate that the user was ‘at’ some other host rather than being local.’”
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