Ray Tomlinson

1941 - 2016

Photo of Ray Tomlinson

Icon of person Ray Tomlinson

Raymond Samuel Tomlinson (April 23, 1941 – March 5, 2016) was an American computer programmer who implemented the first email program on the ARPANET system, the precursor to the Internet, in 1971; It was the first system able to send mail between users on different hosts connected to ARPANET. Previously, mail could be sent only to others who used the same computer. To achieve this, he used the @ sign to separate the user name from the name of their machine, a scheme which has been used in email addresses ever since. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Ray Tomlinson has received more than 969,327 page views. His biography is available in 47 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 46 in 2019). Ray Tomlinson is the 79th most popular inventor (up from 82nd in 2019), the 910th most popular biography from United States (up from 932nd in 2019) and the 22nd most popular American Inventor.

Ray Tompkins is most famous for his comic strip, "Calvin and Hobbes."

Memorability Metrics

  • 970k

    Page Views (PV)

  • 63.31

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 47

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 9.77

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.20

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)


Among inventors, Ray Tomlinson ranks 79 out of 426Before him are George Eastman, Claude Chappe, Charles K. Kao, Kōnosuke Matsushita, Jacques de Vaucanson, and Alois Senefelder. After him are Bi Sheng, Thomas Savery, Sakichi Toyoda, Henry Bessemer, James Hargreaves, and Richard Arkwright.

Most Popular Inventors in Wikipedia

Go to all Rankings


Among people born in 1941, Ray Tomlinson ranks 62Before him are Dan Shechtman, Mircea Snegur, Gérson, Viktor Zubkov, Claudine Auger, and Jacques Perrin. After him are Ivica Osim, Theodor W. Hänsch, Roberto Carlos, Jürgen Prochnow, Chick Corea, and Franco Columbu. Among people deceased in 2016, Ray Tomlinson ranks 44Before him are George Kennedy, Vera Rubin, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Věra Čáslavská, James Cronin, and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. After him are Esma Redžepova, René Angélil, George Martin, Michael Cimino, Michel Galabru, and Ahmed Zewail.

Others Born in 1941

Go to all Rankings

Others Deceased in 2016

Go to all Rankings

In United States

Among people born in United States, Ray Tomlinson ranks 910 out of 20,380Before him are Richard Rorty (1931), Sheldon Lee Glashow (1932), Daniel Keyes (1927), Roy J. Glauber (1925), Lewis Strauss (1896), and John Lee Hooker (1917). After him are Frederick Reines (1918), Herbert A. Hauptman (1917), Jill Biden (1951), James Hetfield (1963), Don Shirley (1927), and Francis Peyton Rous (1879).

Among INVENTORS In United States

Among inventors born in United States, Ray Tomlinson ranks 22Before him are Isaac Singer (1811), John Browning (1855), John Deere (1804), Josephine Cochrane (1839), Les Paul (1915), and George Eastman (1854). After him are Elisha Otis (1811), Leo Fender (1909), Robert Noyce (1927), Jacque Fresco (1916), Lee de Forest (1873), and Josiah Warren (1798).