Vint Cerf, an eminent American engineer, has made numerous significant contributions to the internet. Due to this work he has amassed an impressive net worth.
Prior to joining MCI Digital Information Services, he worked at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency before helping produce MCI Mail – one of the first commercial email services connected directly to the internet. Additionally, he serves as a board member of Internet Society.
Early Life and Education
Vint Cerf is an American computer scientist best known for his contributions to the Internet. A member of the National Academy of Engineering and numerous awards for his efforts are bestowed upon him.
Cerf was born in New Haven, Connecticut to Muriel Thurston a housewife and Vinton Thurston an aerospace executive. At Van Nuys High School he studied alongside fellow computer pioneers Jon Postel and Steve Crocker.
After graduating from Stanford, he joined IBM as a systems engineer to support its Quiktran time-sharing system. Later he returned to school, earning both a master’s degree from UCLA and later his Ph.D. focusing on data packets while participating in ARPANET program – creating the precursor of Internet.
After his brief career with IBM, Cerf attended UCLA graduate school where he studied under Professor Gerald Estrin and worked in Professor Leonard Kleinrock’s data packet networking group. There he met Robert Kahn; together they created the TCP/IP protocol suite that is the cornerstone of Internet connectivity.
As soon as he left DARPA in 1982, he went on to work at MCI Communications Corporation (later WorldCom Inc). There, he spearheaded MCI Mail’s transition into being the first commercial email system connected directly with the Internet. Furthermore, he helped found and serve as president for the Internet Society from 1992-1995.
He serves on the National Science Board and on the boards of Marconi Society and CosmosID, in addition to serving as a trustee at Gallaudet University – an educational institution for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.
Achievement and Honors
Cerf is considered a pioneer of the Internet and has worked at multiple institutions including Stanford University, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Corporation for National Research Initiatives and MCI (the first commercial email system connecting to the Internet). He was honored with Oxford Internet Institute’s Life Achievement Award in September 2011.
As recognition for his contributions to the development of today’s Internet, President Bill Clinton awarded him with the U.S. National Medal of Technology in 1997. Other accolades he has received for this work are ACM Alan M. Turing Award, Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, Japan Prize, US Presidential Medal of Freedom, Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering etc.
Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of TCP/IP and an early Internet pioneer, is married with two sons and has a strong passion for fine wine and gourmet cooking. Additionally, he serves on Gallaudet University’s board of trustees; which provides education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and has received many honorary degrees and awards including National Medal of Technology, Turing Award and Presidential Medal of Freedom. Additionally, with Bob Kahn as co-recipients they were jointly presented the Japan Prize (2008) and Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (2013). In 2005 he became Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google.
In 1992, Cerf created the Internet Society (ISOC) to address Internet issues. He later served as Chairman of the Board for Assigned Names and Numbers as well as Director for Gallaudet University Board of Associates and distinguished Visitor at Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1998 on.
He co-wrote the TCP/IP protocols and is one of the founders of the Internet, earning numerous accolades along the way such as co-winning the Japan Prize with Kahn in 2008, becoming an officer of France’s Legion d’Honneur, and becoming a Foreign Member of Britain’s Royal Society in July 2016; additionally serving on U.S. Presidential Information Technology Advisory Committees as well as several state, industry, and national committees focused on cyber security.