Re: [Fwd: John Postel has died. (fwd)]

Joachim Feise (
Sat, 17 Oct 1998 22:00:28 -0700

Dan Connolly wrote:
> =

> I'm not sure I believe this, but it looks for real...
> =

It took a while before the news services posted it:

OCTOBER 17, 20:19 EDT

Internet Pioneer Postel Dies =

Associated Press Writer =

WASHINGTON (AP) =97 Jon Postel, the Internet pioneer who wielded enormou=
influence managing
technical details of the global computer network, has died of complicati=
from heart surgery in
Los Angeles, friends in Washington said Saturday. He was 55. =

Postel, considered by the Clinton administration to be a crucial player =
in the
future of the Internet,
died Friday night while recovering from surgery to replace a leaking hea=
valve, said Vint Cerf, a
senior vice president for MCI Worldcom Inc. who worked closely with Post=
el. =

The death also was announced Saturday at an Internet conference in Barce=
said Bill Semich,
the president of .nu domain, another Internet company. =

Postel's death comes at a critical juncture for the Internet, with the f=
government in the midst
of largely turning over management of the worldwide network to a non-pro=
group that Postel
helped organize. =

Though Postel worked behind the scenes and was hardly known outside high=
circles, his role
as director of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority allowed the Inter=
net to
match unique
numerical addresses for computers on the global network with its million=
s of
Web addresses, such
as =

So powerful was Postel that ``The Economist'' once dubbed him ``god'' of=
Internet. =

``Jon was a very private person and didn't seek the limelight at all,'' =
Cerf, who attended high
school with Postel in California. ``He preferred to exercise his steward=
role in a very quiet but
competent way.'' =

``Being famous never drove Jon,'' agreed another longtime friend, David =
a professor at the
University of Pennsylvania. ``He had tremendous influence, people respec=
ted his
intellect.'' =

Earlier this year, Postel drew sharp criticism but demonstrated his infl=
when he redirected
half the Internet's 12 directory-information computers to his own system=
=2E He
told federal officials
afterward he was running a test to see how smoothly such a transition co=
uld be
made. =

A researcher at the University of Maryland at College Park, which contro=
ls one
of those computers,
told The Washington Post: ``If Jon asks us to point somewhere else, we'l=
l do
it. He is the authority
here.'' =

Cerf said Postel underwent a heart-valve replacement in 1991, but the
replacement value started to
leak about 10 days ago. He was quickly hospitalized for surgery and was
recovering when he died
suddenly. =

``One minute he was alert and laughing about a joke, and the next minute=
he was
gone,'' Cerf said.
``It was very fast.'' =

Postel, who was unmarried with no children, was intensely private. When =
recent trade publication
profiled him and told him readers were interested in his personal life, =
answered: ``If we tell them,
they won't be interested anymore.'' =

Cerf said Postel is survived by a brother, Mort Postel, who lives in Los=

Angeles with his wife. =

-- =

Joachim Feise Ph.D. Student, Information & Computer Science