Ray Tomlinson

“Ray Tomlinson, email inventor and selector of @ symbol, dies aged 74” http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/07/ray-tomlinson-email-inventor-and-selector-of-symbol-dies-aged-74


Originally from Amsterdam, New York, Tomlinson went to school at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and MIT in the 1960s, and was working at research and development company Bolt Beranek and Newman – now Raytheon BBN Technologies – when he made his email breakthrough.

The program changed the way people communicate both in business and in personal life, revolutionising how “millions of people shop, bank, and keep in touch with friends and family, whether they are across town or across oceans”, reads his biography on the Internet Hall of Fame website*3.

Tomlinson chose the @ symbol to connect the username with the destination address and it has become part of the international language of communication.
Kuzman*4 said Tomlinson was looking at the keyboard and needed something that would not otherwise be part of the address and that seemed to be a logical solution.
“It is a symbol that probably would have gone away if not for email,” she said.
See also

Reuters “Ray Tomlinson, the godfather of email, dies aged 74” http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/07/ray-tomlinson-the-godfather-of-email-dies-aged-74
“Email inventor Ray Tomlinson dies at 74” http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35741116
James Titcomb “Email inventor Ray Tomlinson dies aged 74” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/03/06/email-inventor-ray-tomlinson-dies-aged-74/