The inventor of the computer mouse,
Doug Engelbart, has died aged 88.
Engelbart developed the tool in the
1q960s as a wooden shell covering two
metal wheels, patenting it long before the
mouse's widespread use.
He also worked on early incarnations of
email, word processing and video
teleconferences at a California research
The state's Computer History Museum
was notified of his death by his daughter,
Christina, in an email.
Her father had been in poor health and
died peacefully on Tuesday night in his
sleep, she said.
Doug Engelbart was born on 30 January
1925 in Portland, Oregon, to a radio
repairman father and a housewife
'Mother of all demos'
He studied electrical engineering at
Oregon State University and served as a
radar technician during World War II.
He then worked at Nasa's predecessor,
Naca, as an electrical engineer, but soon
left to pursue a doctorate at University
of California, Berkeley.
His interest in how computers could be
used to aid human cognition eventually
led him to Stanford Research Institute
(SRI) and then his own laboratory, the
Augmentation Research Center.
His laboratory helped develop ARPANet,
the government research network that
led to the internet.
Engelbart's ideas were way ahead of
their time in an era when computers
took up entire rooms and data was fed
into the hulking machines on punch
At a now legendary presentation that
became known as the "mother of all
demos" in San Francisco in 1968, he
made the first public demonstration of
At the same event, he held the first video
teleconference and explained his theory
of text-based links, which would form
the architecture of the internet.
He did not make much money from the
mouse because its patent ran out in
1987, before the device became widely
SRI licensed the technology in 1983 for
$40,000 (£26,000) to Apple.
At least one billion computer mice have
Engelbart had considered other designs
for his most famous invention, including
a device that could be fixed underneath
a table and operated by the knee.
He was said to have been driven by the
belief that computers could be used to
augment human intellect.
Engelbart was awarded the $500,000
Lemelson-MIT prize in 1997 and the
National Medal of Technology for
"creating the foundations of personal
computing" in 2000.
Since 2005, he had been a fellow at the
Computer History Museum in Mountain
He is survived by his second wife, Karen
O'Leary Engelbart, and four children.