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Sir Timothy Berners-Lee
Sir Timothy Berners-Lee
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Sir Timothy Berners-Lee Profile

Father of the World Wide Web

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  Sir Timothy Berners-Lee

For young people today, life without the World Wide Web may seem unimaginable, yet the Web is little more than 15 years old, and its inventor is still among us, still in the prime of his working life, still guiding the destiny of his revolutionary creation.

As a student at Oxford, Tim Berners-Lee built his own computer with a soldering iron from spare parts and an old television set. He was working at CERN, the European nuclear laboratory in Geneva, when he first devised the prototype of a hypertext browser to thread his way through CERN's labyrinth of information systems. Although the fledgling Internet of the early '90s already allowed computer users to exchange plain text documents over telephone lines, Berners-Lee saw the possibility of giving users around the world equal access to a shared body of information, including formatted documents, graphics, photos, audio and video.

He created the software for formatting, transmitting and browsing linked documents over the Internet. He named his creation World Wide Web. In the summer of 1991, Berners-Lee made all of these tools available to the public for free over the Internet. Berners-Lee has always believed the benefits to society of a universally free and accessible system of information exchange outweighed any personal interest. The impact of Berners-Lee's creation on business, scholarship, entertainment, news and politics is incalculable. Time magazine hailed him as one of the "100 Great Minds of the Century," and Queen Elizabeth honored him with a knighthood.

This page last revised on Sep 28, 2007 20:57 EDT
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