On June 8, 1955, Tim Berners-Lee was born in London, England. Berners-Lee is a computer scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web in 1989, when he made the first successful communication between a hypertext transfer protocol (http) client and server. (He was working at the high-tech CERN facility in Geneva, Switzerland, at the time.)

 

Berners-Lee is modest about his truly revolutionary contribution to world culture: “Most of the technology involved in the web, like the hypertext, like the Internet, multifont text objects, had all been designed already. I just had to put them together.”

 

Perhaps even more staggering than Berners-Lee’s invention was his decision to share his knowledge freely—no patent on his idea, no royalties due. “This is for everyone,” he tweeted from the 2012 London Olympics. The web is free because of Berners-Lee.

communication
Noun

sharing of information and ideas.

culture
Noun

learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.

facility
Noun

a building or room that serves a specific function.

Internet
Noun

vast, worldwide system of linked computers and computer networks.

invention
Noun

new idea, machine, product, device, or process.

modest
Adjective

refusing to draw attention to oneself.

patent
Noun

legal right to make or sell an invention.

revolutionary
Adjective

new or innovative.

technology
Noun

the science of using tools and complex machines to make human life easier or more profitable.