The man credited with introducing the world to email and rescuing the @ sign from oblivion has died.
Ray Tomlinson passed away at the age of 74, his employer, Raytheon said.
“A true technology pioneer, Ray was the man who brought us email in the early days of networked computers,” Raytheon spokesman Mike Doble said in a statement.
Tomlinson was renowned for his invention in 1971 of a program for ARPANET, the Internet’s predecessor, that allowed people to send messages across different servers.
Tomlinson is said to have shown a colleague his invention and then, famously, said, “Don’t tell anyone! This isn’t what we’re supposed to be working on.”
Around the time email started to become a household word, Tomlinson began receiving worldwide recognition for his achievement.
Thank you, Ray Tomlinson, for inventing email and putting the
sign on the map. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RIP?src=hash">#RIP</a></p>— Gmail (gmail) March 6, 2016
In 2000, he received the George R. Stibitz Computer Pioneer Award from the American Computer Museum. From there followed honors that included a Webby Award from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science, and an Innovation award from Discover magazine, and the Eduard-Rhein Cultural Award, according to his biography.