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From Marc Slemko <>
Subject IP: VB:NewsFlash: Internet Founder Postel Is Dead (fwd)
Date Sun, 18 Oct 1998 06:21:23 GMT
Not directly related, but...

At first I wasn't sure if it was a joke or not, but am now convinced.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 19:46:39 -0400
From: Dave Farber <>
Subject: IP: VB:NewsFlash: Internet Founder Postel Is Dead

Welcome to VB:NewsFlash
Brought to you by virtual.basex

Jon Postel, the director of the Internet Assigned Numbers Author, died
yesterday. Dr. Postel was heavily involved with the beginnings of the
Internet (then ARPANET) and played an integral part in the creation of
almost all the major Internet protocols.  Often referred to by such terms
as "a God" and "the gold standard" by people who have worked with him, he
had recently been immersed in the controversial attempts to move control of
the Internet out of the hands of the government.

Postal received his B.S. in Engineering in 1966, his M.S. in 1968, and his
Ph.D. in 1974, all from UCLA.  He worked for Mitre, Keydata, and with Doug
Engelbart's group at SRI, and joined the USC Information Sciences Institute
in 1976.

He was the first individual member of the Internet Society.  He continued
to serve as a trustee of the Internet Society until his death. He was the
custodian of the .US domain, and a founder of the Los Nettos Internet

Following are comments made by two close associates of Postel, as published
on the IP mailing list earlier today.

>From Vint Cerf:

"Jon, our beloved IANA, is gone. Even as I write these words I cannot quite
grasp this stark fact. We had almost lost him once before in 1991. Surely
we knew he was at risk as are we all. But he had been our rock, the
foundation on which our every web search and email was built, always there
to mediate the random dispute, to remind us when our documentation did not
do justice to its subject, to make difficult decisions with apparent ease,
and to consult when careful consideration was needed. We will survive our
loss and we will remember. He has left a monumental legacy for all
Internauts to contemplate. Steadfast service for decades, moving when
others seemed paralyzed, always finding the right course in a complex
minefield of technical and sometimes political obstacles.

"If Jon were here, I am sure he would urge us not to mourn his passing but
to celebrate his life and his contributions. He would remind us that there
is still much work to be done and that we now have the responsibility and
the opportunity to do our part. I doubt that anyone could possibly
duplicate his record, but it stands as a measure of one man's astonishing
contribution to a community he knew and loved."

>From Dave Farber:

"I, and others, I fear, have spent a sleepless night after hearing of the
death of Jon Postel last night.

"I also remember Jon. I was his primary thesis advisor along with Jerry
Estrin and I remember with fond memories the months spent closely working
with Jon while his eager mind developed the ideas in back of what was a
pioneering thesis that founded the area of protocol verification.

"I will miss him greatly. Jon was my second Ph.D. student."


The following links detail Mr. Postel's history and his recent involvement
in the controversies over the Internet's future

[These sites are not part of The Basex Group's site, and Basex has no
control over their content or availability.  Some of the longer URLs may
require cutting and pasting into your browser, depending on your mail

Written by Greg A. Spira, Analyst
Copyright 1998 The Basex Group, Inc.  All rights reserved.
All data, opinions, and projections are based on Basex' judgment at the
time of publication and are subject to change.

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