Ray Tomlinson, the computer programmer widely credited with inventing email as we know it, has died of a suspected heart attack at the age of 74.
Tomlinson developed the idea that electronic messages could be sent from one network to another back in 1971.
That was the year he established the first networked email system on ARPANET, the Internet’s ancestor. To send the message, he invented the revolutionary @ symbol in email addresses, which is now standard.
His first email was while working in Boston as an engineer for research company Bolt, Beranek and Newman.
He later said he could not remember what he sent in that first test message, describing it as “completely forgettable”.
Tomlinson received a great deal of recognition for his achievement, and was given everything from the Webby Award to being inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012.
For most of us, Tomlinson will always be remembered as a modern day hero.