Ray Tomlinson, the computer programmer who invented modern email, has died, according to his employer, Raytheon Co. He was 74.
Tomlinson died Saturday of an apparent heart attack, according to multiple news sources.
Tomlinson made the invention in 1971 as an engineer for a firm in Boston. He implemented the email system on ARPANET, which was the precursor to the Internet.
He came up with the code that allowed a user of one computer to send a message to the user of another computer. He has said that his first few messages for testing were just gibberish.
He also came up with the @ sign as a way to separate the user from his machine; the symbol is still used for email today.
Tomlinson is a member of the Internet Hall of Fame.
Published in Boston Globe on Mar. 6, 2016.