Jonathan Bruce Postel ( August 6, 1943 – October 16, 1998) was an American computer scientist who made many significant contributions to the development of the Internet, particularly with respect to standards. He is known principally for being the Editor of the Request for Comment (RFC) document series, and for administering the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) until his death. In his lifetime he was known as the God of the Internet for his comprehensive influence on the medium.
The Internet Society's Postel Award is named in his honor, as is the Postel Center at Information Sciences Institute , University of Southern California. His obituary was written by Vint Cerf and published as RFC 2468 in remembrance of Postel and his work. In 2012, Postel was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.
Postel attended Van Nuys High School, and then UCLA where he earned his B.S. (1966) as well as his M.A. (1968) in Engineering. He then went on to complete his Ph.D. there in Computer Science in 1974, with Dave Farber as his thesis advisor.
While at UCLA, he was involved in early work on the ARPANET. He worked briefly at the MITRE Corporation, then helped set up the Network Information Center at SRI. In March 1977, he joined the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California. Postel was the RFC Editor from 1969 until his death, and wrote and edited many important RFCs, including RFC 791, RFC 792 and RFC 793, which define the basic protocols of the Internet protocol suite, and RFC 2223, Instructions to RFC Authors. He wrote or co-authored more than 200 RFCs...
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