Ray Tomlinson

Ray Tomlinson


Ray Tomlinson who was an American computer programmer and inventor of email born on 23 April 1941, in New York, U.S

Family Background:

Ray Tomlinson had been born to Raymond Tomlinson and his wife Dorothy Aspin Tomlinson in Amsterdam in the area called New York. After sometimes He and his family moved to the area or a small village called Vail Mills, New York.

Personal Life:

He married Ann Tomlinson. On March 5, 2016, in Lincoln, Massachusetts, Ray Tomlinson died from a heart attack. He was 74.


He had received his primary education from the Broadalbin Central School in Broadalbin, New York. He had then gone to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) from where he had participated in the co-op program with IBM. He had completed his graduation with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1963. After this, He had joined at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


He had been appointed by the technology company of Bolt, Beranek, and Newman which is now known as BBN Technologies as a computer engineer in 1967. There He had helped to develop the TENEX operating system. Tomlinson had extended the program by adding code which he took from CPYNET to SNDMSG to create a version that enabled sending messages to users on other computers accessible over the ARPANET. He innovated the use of the “@” sign to separate the username from the name of their machine. His message sending innovation, launched in 1971, is generally believed to be the first email that had been ever sent. The text of the first email Tomlinson sent had been a test, so it was not preserved. According to his own accounts, it had been a very forgettable message not worth remembering. In addition, He had also played a leading role in developing the required services for email, including setting a standard format for email messages and designing a tool for creating and reading email. He had participated in a meeting to improve FTP to support email which had been used until 1982 before being replaced by SMTP.

Unknown Facts:

  • His full name was Raymond Tomlinson.

Master Stroke:

  • Raymond Tomlinson was widely credited as the inventor of email service.
  • In 1971 He had updated an existing utility called SNDMSG so that it could copy messages over the network and had sent a message from one Digital Equipment Corporation DEC-10 computer to another DEC-10.


  • However, following his death in early 2016, a controversy erupted over that who actually invented the email with entrepreneur and innovator VA Shiva Ayyadurai claiming to have actually created it.
  • But it is well accepted that it had been Tomlinson who innovated the usage of the “@” sign to separate the username from the name of their machine, an idea which was later adapted for forming email addresses.

Awards and Achievements:

  • In 2000, Ray had been honored with the George R. Stibitz Computer Pioneer Award from the American Computer Museum.
  • In 2001, He had received the Webby Award.
  • In 2004, He had received the IEEE Internet award.
  • In 2012, Tomlinson had been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.

What can we learn from him??

Like Ray Tomlinson, Make your life goal and follow it.

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