Al Gore Internet Inventor Knighted

IOL – A royal occasion as Web inventor is knighted

The father of the World Wide Web was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on Friday, and said his revolutionary invention was the result of being in the right place at the right time. “I suppose it’s amazing when you think how many things people get involved in that don’t work. It’s very heartening that this one actually did,” said Tim Berners-Lee, who was accompanied to the investiture at Buckingham Palace by his wife and two children. But he added: “I’m very aware I was in the right place at the right time.”

While working at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory near Geneva in the late 1980s, Berners-Lee developed the architecture of the Internet – the Web system of servers and browsers – which he distributed free of charge. He has worked ever since to ensure that the Web remains public domain.
“The Web must remain a universal medium open to all and not biasing the information it conveys,” he said.
His knighthood, for services to the Internet, was announced by Buckingham Palace last December.

British-born Berners-Lee, who is now based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said members of the royal family were not technophobes. “I think the family is pretty knowledgeable about it,” he said. “I’ve met the Duke (of Edinburgh) before, and he was well aware of the history of IT.”


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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. BigFire says:

    It should be noted that Sir Berners-Lee did not invent Internet, but rather, the WWW portion of it. ARPANet/Internet was the works of a couple of individuals in UCLA and UCB in the late 60s (and not, Al is not one of them as well).

  2. Mike Pekala says:

    Gore said, “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”

    According to Vincent Cerf, a senior vice president with MCI Worldcom who’s been called the Father of the Internet, “The Internet would not be where it is in the United States without the strong support given to it and related research areas by the Vice President in his current role and in his earlier role as Senator.”

    The inventor of the Mosaic Browser, Marc Andreesen, credits Gore with making his work possible. He received a federal grant through Gore’s High Performance Computing Act. The University of Pennsylvania’s Dave Ferber says that without Gore the Internet “would not be where it is today.”