Jon Postel...

Lile Elam ((no email))
Mon, 19 Oct 1998 17:16:05 -0700 (PDT)

Hi folks,

Jon Postel died Friday night. See attached article.
He was one of the fathers of the Internet and will
be greatly missed.

He was a wonderful, thoughtful, kind person and was a bright
light here on earth (not to mention very smart.). It's was a
shock for me when I heard of his death.

I was thinking, does anyone have a animated gif image of
a burning candle? I thought it might be nice to burn one
on art.net for him.

thanks,

-lile

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Internet pioneer Jon Postel dies after heart surgery

Copyright 1998 Nando.net
Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (October 18, 1998 12:26 p.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) --
Jon Postel, the Internet pioneer who wielded enormous influence managing
technical details of the global computer network, has died of complications
from heart surgery in Los Angeles, friends in Washington said Saturday. He
was 55. Postel, considered by the Clinton administration to be a crucial
player in the future of the Internet, died Friday night while recovering
from surgery to replace a leaking heart valve, said Vint Cerf, a senior vice
president for MCI Worldcom Inc. who worked closely with Postel.

The death also was announced Saturday at an Internet conference in
Barcelona, said Bill Semich, the president of .nu domain, another Internet
company.

Postel's death comes at a critical juncture for the Internet, with the
federal government in the midst of largely turning over management of the
worldwide network to a non-profit group that Postel helped organize.

Though Postel worked behind the scenes and was hardly known outside
high-tech circles, his role as director of the Internet Assigned Numbers
Authority allowed the Internet to match unique numerical addresses for
computers on the global network with its millions of Web addresses, such as
www.ap.org.

So powerful was Postel that The Economist once dubbed him "god" of the
Internet.

"Jon was a very private person and didn't seek the limelight at all," said
Cerf, who attended high school with Postel in California. "He preferred to
exercise his stewardship role in a very quiet but competent way."

"Being famous never drove Jon," agreed another longtime friend, David
Farber, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. "He had tremendous
influence, people respected his intellect."

Earlier this year, Postel drew sharp criticism but demonstrated his
influence when he redirected half the Internet's 12 directory-information
computers to his own system. He told federal officials afterward he was
running a test to see how smoothly such a transition could be made.

A researcher at the University of Maryland at College Park, which controls
one of those computers, told The Washington Post: "If Jon asks us to point
somewhere else, we'll do it. He is the authority here."

Cerf said Postel underwent a heart-valve replacement in 1991, but the
replacement value started to leak about 10 days ago. He was quickly
hospitalized for surgery and was recovering when he died suddenly.

"One minute he was alert and laughing about a joke, and the next minute he
was gone," Cerf said. "It was very fast."

Postel, who was unmarried with no children, was intensely private. When a
recent trade publication profiled him and told him readers were interested
in his personal life, he answered: "If we tell them, they won't be
interested anymore."

Cerf said Postel is survived by a brother, Mort Postel, who lives in Los
Angeles with his wife.

By TED BRIDIS, The Associated Press



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