Ray Tomlinson, the inventor of email and the man who picked the @ symbol for addresses, has died aged 74.
“A true technology pioneer, Ray was the man who brought us email in the early days of networked computers,” Raytheon spokesman Mike Doble said in a statement confirming his death.
Doble said Tomlinson died on Saturday morning but he did not know if he was at home and did not have a confirmed cause of death. Tomlinson worked in the company’s office in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The tech world reacted with sadness over the passing of Tomlinson, who became a cult figure for his invention in 1971 of a program for ARPANET, the Internet’s predecessor, that allowed people to send person-to-person messages to other computer users on other servers.
Thank you, Ray Tomlinson, for inventing email and putting the @ sign on the map,” read a Tweet from Gmail’s official Twitter account.