Former Vice President Al Gore caught a lot of heat when, in 1999, he famously boasted to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”
“Really?” was the collective reaction of many, since the Internet’s start was traced to research years earlier.
Gore hasn’t been able to completely escape the ridicule that followed the overstatement. But that may be changing now that his contributions to the expansion of the “Information Superhighway” will be recognized by those who are in a position to know his impact.
Gore, among others, will be one of the first inductees into the “Internet Hall of Fame”, it was announced at the Internet Society’s Global INET 2012 conference in Geneva, Switzerland, this week.
The Hall of Fame “celebrates the Net’s early geniuses, game-changers, and various people who helped to fund, evangelize, and incubate the global information network used by billions,” PCMag.com said in a nutshell.
Gore, a former U.S. senator from Tennessee, is being recognized for pushing legislation that funded expansion of the Internet to put it within reach of millions of Americans.
Specifically, the Internet Society said:
Gore was the first politician to grasp the potential of the Internet. Gore wrote the High Performance Computing and Communications Act that passed in 1991 which helped spread the net beyond computer science professionals by providing key funding to Internet projects, including the groundbreaking Mosaic browser which led to the dot-com boom.
Even former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave him credit in a 2000 speech to the American Political Science Association:
“In all fairness, it’s something Gore had worked on a long time. Gore is not the Father of the Internet, but in all fairness, Gore is the person who, in the Congress, most systematically worked to make sure that we got to an Internet.”
Gore falls under the society’s Hall of Fame’s category of “Global Connectors.” The other two categories are “Pioneers” and “Innovators.”
Here is a complete list of the inductees.