Fathers of the Internet

Donald Watts Davies, Vinton Gray Cerf and Bob Kahn co-invented the two original protocols of the Internet protocol suite, TCP/IP protocols in 1973, and are considered to be the Fathers of Internet.

Internet pioneer Vinton Gray Cerf was born on 23 June 1943 and is recognised as one of the 3 “Fathers of Internet”, together with Bob Kahn and Donald Davies. When commercial Internet began to transition during the late 1980s, Cerf started the development of the first commercial email system (MCI Mail) connected to the Internet. Cerf is currently the co-chair of Campus Party Silicon Valley, the US edition of one of the largest technology festivals in the world, along with Al Gore and Tim Berners-Lee.

Electrical engineer Robert Elliot Kahn was born on 23 December 1938 invented the TCP/IP protocols, the fundamental communication protocols at the heart of the Internet. In 1972 he demonstrated the ARPANET by connecting 20 different computers at the International Computer Communication Conference, and made people realize that packet switching was real. He then helped develop the TCP/IP protocols for connecting diverse computer networks. After he became Director of IPTO, he started a US government billion dollar Initiative, a computer research and development program.

Computer scientist Donald Watts Davies was born on 7 June 1924 and was one of the two independent inventors of packet switched computer networking. The Internet can be traced directly back to Donald’s work. He became interested in data communications when he realised the cost of keeping a phone connection open for the new time-sharing computer systems. He first presented his ideas on packet switching at a conference in 1968. In 2012, Davies was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.