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Paul Baran

Born: 1926-04-26 - Died: 2011-03-26
Cause of Death:
Lung Cancer


Death Summary: Baran died in his Palo Alto, California home due to complications from lung cancer.

Who was Paul Baran : Paul Baran is an engineer who can be credited as being one of the pioneers of the internet. Along with his contributions to its creation, he also developed the technology which led to ATMs, the technology which led to DSL modems, and founded the first wireless internet company.

Baran was born in Grodno, which was a part of Poland at the time. His family moved to Philadelpia in 1928. He graduated from Drexel University and received his master's degree in Engineering from UCLA. In the same year, he began to work for the RAND corporation.

During his time with RAND, he was charged with developing communications technology which could withstand a nuclear attack. He developed technology which relied on a large scale array of nodes. Creating a system which relied on larger numbers allowed for greater resiliency against nodes going offline. The messaging system for the network would come to be known as "packet switching", which is the heart of how the internet runs today. It bundles data which is able to be sent across the mass network and is reassembled at its destination.

After developing the technology, Baran tried to sell it. He first went to AT&T, who laughed at his idea and told him it wasn't possible. However, the US government was looking to upgrade its communications network and used Baran's work as reference when designing their system. It was called the "Arpanet" and was used until it was eventually replace by the internet. Though they both share many similarities; and inspiration from Baran's work.

After developing the technology which would have great influence on the internet, Baran went on to contribute to other important works. He started seven companies, with five of those becoming publicly trades. His research also influenced many modern technologies we enjoy today. Later in life, he started the first wireless internet company.

Baran's wife, Evelyn, died in 2007. He is survived by his son, David, and three grandchildren.
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5 Signatures in Paul Baran's guestbook

  1. Tauqir Ahmad Says:

    Always Remembered

  2. Sherry Says:

    God Bless. You were wonderful to work with, and you will be greatly missed.

  3. Sean Thomas Says:

    you were a great inspiration to the world

  4. Thomas Jame Says:

    i agree with sean thomas, you are a great inspiration to the world. The internet is a large part of the average persons life. Thank you for your time and dedication.

    without you, i couldnt have written this message.

  5. Thomas James Says:

    sorry, my name is TJ, not Thomas Jame


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