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Vinton Gray Cerf (; born June 23, 1943) is an American Internet pioneer and is recognized as one of " the fathers of the Internet", sharing this title with
TCP/IP The Internet protocol suite, commonly known as TCP/IP, is the set of communications protocol A communication protocol is a system of rules that allows two or more entities of a communications system 400px, Communication system A commu ...
co-developer
Bob Kahn Robert Elliot Kahn (born December 23, 1938) is an American electrical engineer, who, along with Vint Cerf Vinton Gray Cerf (; born June 23, 1943) is an American Internet pioneer and is recognized as one of "List of Internet pioneers, the fa ...

Bob Kahn
. He has received honorary degrees and awards that include the
National Medal of Technology The National Medal of Technology and Innovation (formerly the National Medal of Technology) is an honor granted by the President of the United States to American inventors and innovators who have made significant contributions to the development ...

National Medal of Technology
, the
Turing Award The ACM A. M. Turing Award is an annual prize given by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for contributions "of lasting and major technical importance to the computer field". It is generally recognized as the highest distinction in com ...
,Cerf wins Turing Award
February 16, 2005
the
Presidential Medal of Freedom The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the ...

Presidential Medal of Freedom
,2005 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients
from the White House website
the
Marconi Prize The Marconi Prize is an annual award recognizing achievements and advancements made in field of communications Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing meaning among entities or groups through th ...
and membership in the
National Academy of Engineering The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is an American nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a ...
.


Life and career

Vinton Gray Cerf was born in
New Haven, Connecticut New Haven is a coastal city in the of . It is located on on the northern shore of in , and is part of the . With a population of 134,023 as determined by the ,{{https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/newhavencityconnecticut/POP010220# ...
, the son of Muriel (née Gray) and Vinton Thurston Cerf. Cerf attended
Van Nuys High School Van Nuys High School (VNHS) is a public high school in the Van Nuys, Los Angeles, Van Nuys district of Los Angeles, belonging to the Los Angeles Unified School District: District 2. The school is home to a Residential Program and three Magnet schoo ...
with
Jon Postel Jonathan Bruce Postel (; August 6, 1943 – October 16, 1998) was an American computer scientist A computer scientist is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, mora ...

Jon Postel
and
Steve Crocker Stephen D. Crocker (born October 15, 1944 in Pasadena, California, United States) is the inventor of the Request for Comments series, authoring the first RFC and many more. He attended Van Nuys High School, as did Vint Cerf and Jon Postel. Crocke ...
. While in high school, Cerf worked at
Rocketdyne Rocketdyne was an American rocket engine A rocket engine uses stored rocket propellants as the reaction mass for forming a high-speed propulsive Jet (fluid), jet of fluid, usually high-temperature gas. Rocket engines are reaction engines, p ...
on the Apollo program and helped write statistical analysis software for the non-destructive tests of the . Cerf received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from
Stanford University Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a Private university, private research university in Stanford, California. The campus occupies , among the largest in the United States, and enrolls over 17,000 students. Stan ...

Stanford University
. After college, Cerf worked at
IBM International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the C ...

IBM
as a
systems engineer Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific method, scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, ...
supporting QUIKTRAN for two years. Cerf and his wife Sigrid both have hearing deficiencies; they met at a
hearing aid A hearing aid is a device designed to improve hearing by making sound audible to a person with hearing loss Hearing loss is a partial or total inability to Hearing, hear. Hearing loss may be present at birth or acquired at any time afterwards. ...
agent's practice in the 1960s, which led him to becoming an advocate for accessibility. He left IBM to attend graduate school at
UCLA The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university in Los Angeles, California. UCLA’s academic roots were established in 1882 as a teachers college then known ...
where he earned his M.S. degree in 1970 and his PhD in 1972. Cerf studied under Professor
Gerald Estrin Gerald Estrin (September 9, 1921 – March 29, 2012) was an American computer scientist, and professor at the UCLA Computer Science Department. He is known for his work on the organization of computer systems, on Parallel computing, parallel pro ...
and worked in Professor
Leonard Kleinrock Leonard Kleinrock (born June 13, 1934) is an American computer scientist. A professor at UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, he made several important contributions to the field of computer science, in particular to ...
's
data packet In telecommunications and computer networking, a network packet is a formatted unit of Data (computing), data carried by a packet-switched network. A packet consists of control information and user data; the latter is also known as the ''Payload ...
networking group that connected the first two nodes of the
ARPANet The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was the first wide-area packet-switching In telecommunications, packet switching is a method of grouping data that is transmitted over a digital network into '' packets''. Packets are ...
, the first node on the Internet, and "contributed to a host-to-host protocol" for the ARPANet. While at
UCLA The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university in Los Angeles, California. UCLA’s academic roots were established in 1882 as a teachers college then known ...
, Cerf met
Bob Kahn Robert Elliot Kahn (born December 23, 1938) is an American electrical engineer, who, along with Vint Cerf Vinton Gray Cerf (; born June 23, 1943) is an American Internet pioneer and is recognized as one of "List of Internet pioneers, the fa ...

Bob Kahn
, who was working on the
ARPANet The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was the first wide-area packet-switching In telecommunications, packet switching is a method of grouping data that is transmitted over a digital network into '' packets''. Packets are ...
system architecture. Cerf wrote the first TCP protocol with
Yogen Dalal Instead of a single "inventor", the Internet was developed by many people over many years. The following are some Internet pioneers who contributed to its early development. These include early theoretical foundations, specifying original protocols ...
and Carl Sunshine, called ''Specification of Internet Transmission Control Program'' (), published in December 1974. Cerf worked as assistant professor at Stanford University from 1972 to 1976 where he conducted research on packet network interconnection protocols and co-designed the DoD TCP/IP protocol suite with Kahn. Cerf worked at the United States
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is a research and development Research is " creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization, and analysis of in ...
(DARPA) from 1973 to 1982 and funded various groups to develop
TCP/IP The Internet protocol suite, commonly known as TCP/IP, is the set of communications protocol A communication protocol is a system of rules that allows two or more entities of a communications system 400px, Communication system A commu ...
, packet radio (
PRNET The Packet Radio Network (PRNET) was a set of early, experimental mobile ad hoc network Mobile may refer to: Places * Mobile, Alabama, a U.S. port city * Mobile County, Alabama * Mobile, Arizona, a small town near Phoenix, U.S. * Mobile, Newf ...
), packet satellite (
SATNET SATNET, also known as the Atlantic Packet Satellite Network, was an early satellite network that formed an initial segment of the Internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected ...
) and packet security technology. These efforts were rooted in the needs of the military. In the late 1980s, Cerf moved to MCI where he helped develop the first commercial email system (
MCI MailMCI Mail was one of the first ever commercial email upThe email_address.html"_;"title="at_sign,_a_part_of_every_SMTP_email_address">at_sign,_a_part_of_every_SMTP_email_address Electronic_mail_(email_or_e-mail)_is_a_method_of_exchanging_messag ...
) to be connected to the Internet. Cerf is active in a number of global humanitarian organizations. Cerf is also known for his
sartorial {{Short pages monitor