Robert Taylor

Esmeralda Bermudez and Michael Hiltzik “Robert W. Taylor, a pioneer of the modern computer, dies at 85”
Associated Press “Robert Taylor, internet and computer pioneer, dies aged 85”


The adopted son of a Methodist minister and his wife landed at the Pentagon in the mid-1960s after a stint with NASA.

He worked at the Advanced Projects Research Agency, or ARPA, and was responsible for a project devoted to interactive computing.

With millions of dollars at his disposal, Taylor funded nascent computer-science programs at institutions around the country ― MIT, UCLA, Stanford, the universities of Utah and Illinois.

He nurtured the youngest, most talented scientists he could find.

But it irked him to have to deal with their myriad incompatible computer systems. He demanded a system that would allow them to communicate with each other and secured the funding to get the concept off the ground.

He then oversaw the construction of a network that seamlessly connected numerous research computers nationwide.

Taylor foresaw that this network would one day not only be an administrative tool, but a necessary utility for the public.

In a 1968 paper he co-wrote, Taylor stated: "In a few years, men will be able to communicate more effectively through a machine than face to face."

He predicted that the network would provide services people would come to rely on, such as investment advice, and others that you would "call for when you need them," like dictionaries and encyclopedias.


“Ray Tomlinson, email inventor and selector of @ symbol, dies aged 74” *2