Two named to Internet Hall of Fame | April 23, 2014 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - April 23, 2014

Two named to Internet Hall of Fame

by Dave Boyce

The Internet Hall of Fame has named two local people among the 24 new members for 2014.

The Internet Society inducted (posthumously) former Atherton resident Doug Engelbart, who died in July 2013 and who is credited with inventing the computer mouse and concepts such as point-and-click and hypertext links, and Ladera resident Mike Roberts, who got off the ground the organization that privatized the complicated government infrastructure that established and kept orderly the millions of URLs on the Internet.

Mr. Engelbart had a reputation for interceding on behalf of ordinary people to extend the power of computing far and wide. Curtis R. Carlson, president and CEO of SRI International in Menlo Park, at a ceremony honoring Mr. Englebart in December 2000 described his work as "touch(ing) the lives of nearly everyone in the world — in business, education, entertainment and our daily lives."

Mr. Roberts and others on the board of directors of the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), along with volunteers from around the world, took on the massive task in the 1990s of privatizing the Internet's domain name system (DNS). Mr. Roberts served as the first president and chief executive of ICANN from 1998 to 2001, according to the Internet Society.

Before coming to ICANN, Mr. Roberts was vice president of Educom, a nonprofit consortium of 600 colleges and universities that introduced these institutions to networking and telecommunications, according to a bio at the Hall of Fame website. He was instrumental in developing public policy positions in information technology.

Mr. Roberts is married to environmental activist Lennie Roberts, the legislative advocate for the Committee for Green Foothills.

The Internet Hall of Fame, based in Hong Kong and now in its third year, has a membership of 89. Other local inductees include Paul Baran of Atherton, awarded posthumously for his important work on digital packet switching, and Marc Andreessen of Palo Alto, the co-author of Mosaic, the first web browser.

Other luminaries familiar to Silicon Valley include World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, Internet protocol inventor Vint Cerf, Linux open-source operating system inventor Linus Torvalds, and former vice president Al Gore, described at the Hall's website as "a key proponent of sponsoring legislation that funded the expansion of and greater public access to the Internet."

Go to to see earlier story on Mr. Engelbart.


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