After the death of Ray Tomlinson on 5th March, the internet and techies all around the world rayed tribute to the father of email, the person who put the ‘@’ in email address. Ray achieved this feat on ARPANET while working for BNB Technologies in 1971. However, it turns out that the father of Email is actually an Indian and he has the relevant patent to prove it.
This is like the Marconi vs. J. C. Bose case, where Marconi is widely regarded as the father of radio transmission but in reality J. C. Bose was the one who did it first. Similarly, Mumbai born Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai is the person who created the first electronic interoffice mail in 1979 when he was only 14. In 1978, he created an electronic mail management system which included the ‘CC” and ‘BCC’ mailing system we are all very familiar with now. Ayyadurai copyrighted the term ‘EMAIL’ in 1982. Dr. Ayyadurai earned his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) along with 4 other degrees.
Dr. Ayyadurai has garnered much attention in media. Time magazine also credited him as the inventor of Email. But he still gets attacked in the US as an impostor trying to hog the credits of Ray Tomlinson. Dr. Ayyadurai, however, has a great supporter in Noam Chomsky, considered “the father of modern linguistics,” himself. Noam Chomsky says, “Email, upper case, lower case, any case, is the electronic version of the interoffice, inter-organizational mail system, the email we all experience today — and email was invented in 1978 by a 14-year-old working in Newark, New Jersey. The facts are indisputable.”