Doug Engelbart, Inventor of ‘Mouse’, dies at 88

Doug Engelbart, the inventor of computer mouse is no more. The great scientist passed away Tuesday night of Kidney failure at the age of 88 in California.

douglas_engelbartEngelbart’s daughter Christiana reportedly intimated about her father’s death in a mail to The Computer History Museum in California, where Engelbart had been a fellow since 2005.

Engelbart is survived by his wife, Karen O’Leary Engelbart, four children, and nine grandchildren.

Douglas Carl Engelbart was born on January 30, 1925 in Portland to a radio repairman father and a homemaker mother.

Engelbart first developed a computer mouse in the 1960s but actually the mouse was commercially available from 1984. He appeared publicly at a San Francisco computer conference with the first public demonstration of the mouse and networked computing in 1968 where he was highly appreciated and became known as the “mother of all demos”, as he demonstrated hypertext, shared screen collaboration and video teleconferencing.

When Engelbart first created the computer mouse it was simply a wooden shell covering two metal wheels. He patented his invention in 1968 and the life span of this patent was only for 17 years. So later though billions of mice were sold starting from 1987, Engelbart was not entitled for any royalty or commercial benefit for his creation/invention.

Engelbart’s lab also helped develop ARPANet, the government research network that subsequently led to the internet.

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