1997 Lemelson-MIT Prize Winner
At what later became known as "the Mother of All Demos,"
Douglas Engelbart in 1968 publicly demonstrated the computer mouse,
hypermedia and shared screen teleconferencing for the first time.
His presentation at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco
received a standing ovation from 2,000 astonished computer professionals
who had never before seen a mouse-controlled cursor manipulate text.
In fact, they had never before seen a text-only display, such as
Engelbart had projected onto a large screen from a primitive mainframe
computer located 25 miles away! His demonstration predated the first
personal computer as well as word processing software. In 1997,
he was awarded the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize.
A visionary with enormous impact, Engelbart has dedicated his career
to designing systems that could help humans collectively manage
their increasing complex world. He holds 20 patents and his inventions
include the mouse, hypertext systems, windows, cross-file editing,
groupware, and a host of other technologies that form the basis
of interactive, collaborative computing. These pioneering concepts
formed the backbone of Englelbart's NLS (oN-Line System),
developed at Augmentation Research Center, which he founded and
directed at the Stanford Research Institute throughout the 1960s
Engelbart's developments for the personal computer opened
the door for numerous capabilities. His original windows concept
inspired the development of the ubiquitous Microsoft Windows95,
and his hypertext system helped advance the promise of the World
Wide Web. As Byte magazine said of Engelbart in a 1995 article
honoring 20 persons who have had the greatest impact on personal
computing: "Comparisons with Thomas Edison do not seem far
Born on a farmstead in Oregon in 1925, Engelbart earned his M.S.
and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California,
Berkeley. In 2000 he was awarded the National Medal of Technology
by President Clinton. He currently works out of the Bootstrap Institute,
which he dedicated to raising awareness about challenges facing
humans, as well as the potential for new systems to meet those challenges.