Tim Berners-Lee Internet Pioneer Biography

Quote From Novell CEO Eric Schmidt of TIME:
"If [computer networking] were a traditional science, Berners-Lee would win a Nobel Prize"

This article contains quotes from the British Engineer and Computer Scientist Sir Timothy Berners-Lee. Whilst working at Cern in 1989 he invented the World Wide Web. In 1990 aided by Robert Cailliau, they produced the hypertext proposal that navigates the Internet. Additionally, the article contains links to the myriad awards and honors accredited to Tim Berners-Lee.

Education & Career

Emanuel School London: 1969-1973:

Thoughts from Berners-Lee: Emanuel School was programmed to send people to Oxford, The Maths teacher at Emanuel, Frank Grundy, who conveyed the excitement of the subject with a twinkle of his eye. He could make numerical approximations in his head, faster than we could work it out longhand, and would throw in a teaser question in his conversation to puzzle anyone thinking that they might have figured the subject out.

Queen's College Oxford: 1973-1976. BA Hons (I) Physics.

Unlike most people at Oxford, I had one tutor for almost all the work. John Moffat has a very rare talent for being able to understand not only the physics itself, but also my tangled misguided attempts at it, and then showing me in my terms; using my strange symbols, and vocabulary, where I had gone wrong. Many people can only explain the world from their own point of view.

In 1976, Tim Berners-Lee: graduated from Queen's College, at Oxford University in England. While there, he built his first computer with a soldering iron, TTL gates, Plessey Telecommunications LTD (Poole,Dorset, UK), a major UK Telecom equipment manufacturer, working on distributed transaction systems, message relays, and bar code technology.

In 1978, he left Plessey to join D.G Nash Ltd (Ferndown, Dorset, UK), where he wrote among other things a typesetting software for intelligent printers. In addition, a year and a half was spent as an independent consultant. Including a six-month stint from June - Dec 1980 as consultant software engineer at CERN The European Particle, Physics Laboratory: Geneva Switzerland.

While there, he wrote for his own private use, his first program that stored information which included using random associations. This was a Notebook program named ENQUIRE the idea being from, 'Enquire-Within-Upon-Everything', the program allowed linking, each node had a title, a type, and a list of Bi-directional typed links. 'ENQUIRE' run on Norsk Data machines, under SINTRAN-III. It was never published; this program formed the conceptual basis for the future development of the World Wide Web.

From 1981 until 1984, Tim worked at John Poole's Image Computer System Ltd having technical design responsibility. Work there included real time control firmware graphics, and in 1984, he took up a Fellowship at CERN to work on distributed real-time systems, for scientific data acquisition, and system control. Among other things, he worked on FASTBUS system software, and designed a heterogeneous, remote procedure call system.

In 1989, he proposed a global hypertext project, predestined to be known as the World Wide Web. Based on the earlier 'Enquire' work, it was designed to allow people to work together, by combining their knowledge in a web of hypertext documents. He wrote the first 'World Wide Web' server, 'HTTPD' and the first client; World Wide Web: a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get WYSIWYG This work was started in October 1990, and the program World Wide Web, was first made available within CERN, in December, and on the Internet at large; by the summer of 1991.

In 1994, Tim joined the Laboratory for Computer Science LCS at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: M I T In 1999, he became the first holder of the 3Com Founders Chair He is Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, that co-ordinates Web development worldwide, with teams at MIT, INRIA in France, and at Keio University: Japan. The Consortium takes as its goal, to lead the Web to its full potential, ensuring its stability, through rapid evolution, and revolutionary transformations of its usage. The Consortium is found at

Information from the 'Living Internet' Tim Berners-Lee, the British mastermind of the World Wide Web, is among 43 new fellows elected to the distinguished UK scientific body.

The Universal Resource Locator (URL) was created in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee ( It is an addressing system to give each Web page a unique location for example: is the address of this web page.

Timothy Berners-Lee was awarded an OBE in 1997 in recognition of his invention and subsequent development and designing of the World Wide Web. His work has revolutionized communication via the Internet, enabling universal access to information placed on the Web.

Sir Timothy Berners-Lee More Awards

Disallowed Linking: These URL's allow legitimate access using a browser. [Kilby International Awards 1995] [Electronic Frontier Foundation 2000] [MacArthur Foundation Fellow 1998] [Academy Science 2001]

[Fellowship of the Royal Society 2000]

Article References

P R Hill (2001) 'Sir Timothy Berners-Lee Biography',
[Online], Available at (...)

P R Hill (2001) 'Sir Timothy Berners-Lee Biography',
[Online], Available at (...)

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