Biography of the inventor of WWW, Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is a British computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web (WWW). Both of his parents worked on the Ferranti Mark I, the first commercial computer. An alumnus of the University of Oxford, he realized the need for a global communication network while working at CERN as the researchers from all over the world needed to share their data with each other. By the late 1980s he had drawn up a proposal for creating a global hypertext document system using the internet.


  • Tim Berners Lee was born on June 8, 1955. He has three siblings. Both his parents worked on the first commercially-built computer, the Ferranti Mark I and thus Tim was fascinated by computers from a young age.
  • He received his primary education from Sheen Mount Primary School before moving on to London’s independent Emanuel School where he studied from 1969 to 1973.
  • He enrolled at The Queen’s College of the University of Oxford in 1973 and graduated in 1976 with a first-class degree in physics.
  • Career

  • He was appointed as an engineer at the telecommunications company, Plessey in Poole after completing his studies.
  • He left Plessey in 1978 and joined D. G. Nash Ltd. In this job he wrote typesetting software for intelligent printers and a multitasking operating system.
  • In the late 1970s he began working as an independent consultant and worked for many companies, including CERN.
  • He started working at John Poole’s Image Computer Systems, Ltd. in 1981. For the next three years he worked on the company’s technical side which enabled him to gain experience in computer networking. His work included real time control firmware, graphics and communications software, and a generic macro language.
  • In 1989, he wrote a proposal for a more effective communication system within the organization which eventually led to the conceptualization of the World Wide Web—an information sharing system that could be implemented throughout the world.
  • The world’s first ever website,, was built at CERN and put online on 6th August 1991, ushering in a new era in the field of communication and technology. The site provided information of what the World Wide Web was and how it could be used for information sharing.
  • He established the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994. The W3C decided that its technologies should be royalty-free so that anyone could adopt them.
  • He became a professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southampton, UK, in December 2004. There he worked on the Semantic Web.
  • In 2006, he became the Co-Director of the Web Science Trust which was launched to analyze the World Wide Web and devise solutions to optimize its usage and design. He also serves as the Director of the World Wide Web Foundation, started in 2009.
  • Along with Professor Nigel Shadbolt, he is one of the key figures behind, a UK Government project to make non-personal UK government data more accessible to the public.
  • Major Works

  • His invention, the World Wide Web, is counted among the most significant inventions of the 20th century. The web revolutionized the world of information and technology and has opened up several new avenues.
  • Awards & Achievements

  • He was presented with The Software System Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in 1995.
  • He was named as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th century by the Time Magazine in 1999.
  • He was made the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in the New Year Honours “for services to the global development of the Internet” in 2004.
  • In 2013, he became one of five Internet and Web pioneers awarded the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.
  • Personal Life

  • He met Jane while studying physics at Oxford and married her soon after graduation in 1976. This marriage, however, ended in a divorce.
  • While working for CERN he became acquainted with Nancy, an American software engineer. They so fell in love and tied the knot in 1990. This marriage too ended after some years.
  • Currently he is married to Rosemary Leith who he wed in June 2014.
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