Vint Cerf

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Person.png Vint Cerf  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Vint Cerf - 2010.jpg
BornVinton Gray Cerf
June 23, 1943
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Alma materStanford University, UCLA
Member ofGlobal Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace
A father of the internet as part of military research. Later evangelist for Google.

Employment.png Contractor

In office
1973 - 1982
Created the foundations of the Internet

Employment.png Chief Internet Evangelist

In office
2005 - Present

Vinton Gray Cerf is an American Internet pioneer and is recognized as one of "the fathers of the Internet", sharing this title with TCP/IP co-developer Bob Kahn.[1][2]


Vinton Gray Cerf was born in New Haven, Connecticut on June 23, 1943, the son of Muriel (née Gray) and Vinton Thurston Cerf.[3] Cerf received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Stanford University.[4]

After college, Cerf worked at IBM as a systems engineer for two years. He left IBM to attend graduate school at UCLA where he earned his M.S. degree in 1970 and his PhD in 1972.[5]

Military research

While at UCLA, Cerf met Bob Kahn, who was working on the ARPANet system architecture.[6] Cerf worked at the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) from 1973 to 1982 and funded various groups to develop TCP/IP, packet radio (PRNET), packet satellite (SATNET) and packet security technology.[7]

These efforts were rooted in the needs of the military.[8] Cerf wrote the first TCP protocol with Yogen Dalal and Carl Sunshine, called Specification of Internet Transmission Control Program (IETF RFC 675), published in December 1974.[9] The first functional demonstration of TCP/IP involved a simulation of a NATO war with the Soviet Union.[10]

There were lots of ramifications for the military. For example, we absolutely wanted to bring data communications to the field, which is what the packet radio project and the packet satellite projects were about; how to reach wide areas, how to reach people on the oceans. Can’t do it by dragging fiber, can’t do it very well with terrestrial store-and-forward radio because line-of-site doesn’t work very well on a wide ocean. So you need satellites for that. So the whole effort was very strongly motivated by bringing computers into the field in the military and then making it possible for them to communicate with each other in the field and to assets that were in the rear of the theatre of operations. So all of the demonstrations that we did had military counterparts.

Cerf described working very closely with the military every step of the way and in many cases helping find solutions to specific needs. “We deployed a whole bunch of packet radio gear and computer

terminals and small processors to Fort Bragg with the 18th Airborne Corps and for several years did a whole bunch of field exercises. We also deployed them to the Strategic Air Command in Omaha, Nebraska, and did a series of exercises with them. In some cases, the outcome of the applications that we used were so good that they became part of the normal everyday operation.[11]


As vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982 to 1986, Cerf led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet. In 1986, he joined Bob Kahn at the Corporation for National Research Initiatives as its vice president, working with Kahn on Digital Libraries, Knowledge Robots, and gigabit speed networks. Since 1988 Cerf lobbied for the privatization of the internet.[12] In 1992, he and Kahn, among others, founded the Internet Society (ISOC) to provide leadership in education, policy and standards related to the Internet. Cerf served as the first president of ISOC. Cerf rejoined MCI during 1994 and served as Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy.

Cerf has worked for Google as a vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist since October 2005.[13] In this function he has become well known for his predictions on how technology will affect future society, encompassing such areas as artificial intelligence, environmentalism, the advent of IPv6 and the transformation of the television industry and its delivery model.[14]


Cerf is listed as a donor to the COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund (CETF), an organization founded by Steve Kirsch to research repurposed drugs to treat COVID-19.[15]


A Quote by Vint Cerf

National Security Agency“I worked with the National Security Agency on the design of a secured version of the internet but we used classified security technology at the time and I couldn't share that with my colleagues. If I could start over again I would have introduced a lot more strong authentication and cryptography into the system.”7 April 2014The Register


  7. quote=My first introduction to somebody at DARPA other than Bob Kahn and Steve Crocker was Craig. So it was fairly early on, I think by 1973, I was under contract to carry out the INTERNET research work.
  9. Vinton Cerf, Yogen Dalal, Carl Sunshine, Specification of Internet Transmission Control Program, December 1974)
  11. quoted in Yasha Levine Surveillance Valley
  12. quote=I pushed for privatization as early as 1988, just five years after turning the Internet on, on the grounds that I believed that, in order to reach the general public, we needed to have an economic engine that would drive it, sustain it, make it survivable or sustainable.
  15. Donors. COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund. Retrieved September 29, 2021, from