Domain Name Handbook
Dr. Jonathan B. Postel
August 3, 1943 - October 16, 1998
Executive Director and Founder, Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
Director, Computer Networks Division, Information Sciences Institute
RFC Editor; Trustee, Internet Society
Internet Networking Pioneer and Visionary
A memorial for Dr. Postel was held on November 5, 1998 at 11 a.m. in the Bovard Auditorium of the University of Southern California. The memorial service was webcast by USC.
Eulogy by Vint Cerf: I Remember IANA - RFC 2468
Eulogy by Daniel Farber: A Life Too Brief
Eulogy by Paul Vixie: Requiem for Jon Postel

Boardwatch (12-98) Jon Postel Streamlines the Afterlife
Wired (11-5-98) A Wizard Rests in Peace
Inter@ctive Week (10-26) Jon Postel: Internet Architect and Caretaker
New York Times (10-18-98): Jon Postel, Who Helped Create the Internet, is Dead at 55
Washington Post (10-18): Jon Postel, Internet Pioneer, Dies at 55 after Heart Surgery
Los Angeles Times (10-18) : Jon Postel, Influential Internet Pioneer, Dies
Wired (10-18-98) Net Mourns Passing of Giant
San Jose Mercury News (10-18) : Internet Founding Father Dies
C/Net (10-19): IANA Chief Jon Postel Dies
USC News Service (10-19): Internet Pioneer Jon Postel Dies at 55
Internet Week and TechWeb (10-19): Head of Internet Domain-Names Group Dies
Internet News (10-27): Postel Memorial Webcast Set for Nov. 5
C/Net (11-5): Postel Eulogized as Humble Genius
Jon Postel photo
Photo by Peter Lothberg
Jon Postel Photo/3
Lifetime Achievement - 1997
Dvorak Telecommunications Award
Jon Postel photo/4
ITU Silver Medal
Dr. Jon Postel was the Director of ISI's Computer Networks Division, based in Marina del Rey, California. He also held leadership positions in several Internet infrastructure activities. He was founder and head of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, RFC Editor, and chief administrator of the .US domain. He was expected to play a crucial role in the future of Internet administration, which is in the process of being transferred to the private sector.
He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Engineering, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1966, 1968, and 1974, respectively, all from UCLA.
At UCLA, he was involved in the beginnings of ARPANET and the development of the Network Measurement Center. He began working at USC's Information Sciences Institute in 1977.

Postel died of complications on October 16, 1998 following emergency surgery to fix a heart replacement valve, which had begun to leak.

reprinted with permission
Jon Postel's passing is a loss of extraordinary proportions. His vision of a world drawn together through a vast common communications network has become a reality, and his genius and leadership were the key to its realization. Jon's legacy is a proud one, but his work remains unfinished. His star, which shone so brightly while he was among us, now hangs like a beacon on the horizon. . . . We have lost the visionary, but we can not lose the vision.
-- Ken Stubbs, Chair, Executive Committee, Internet Council of Registrars
I am glad that he finished his last project. Perhaps it will help institutionalize his legacy. He was the touchstone, the permanence against which all the philosophizing, faction, and rancor in the domain name fights had to be reconciled. He has been criticized as a 'king', but he didn't inherit his position and respect, he earned it. Just maybe his passing will give pause and sober for a moment the drunk ambition that we've begun to perceive as normal.
-- Antony Van Couvering, Name Engine
Jon Postel is an important historical figure in the development of the Internet. His work over the past decades played a significant part
in the worldwide growth and development of the Internet as we know it today. Network Solutions is proud to have worked with Dr. Postel, and will move forward into the 21st century drawing from his lasting contributions and continuing legacy for all the Internet community.
-- Gabe Battista, CEO, Network Solutions, Inc.
Dr. Postel added colour and flare to a community that frequently needed a little humour or sensability. DNS debates and strategies aside, Dr. Postel will be greatly missed for the excitement and knowledge and personal opinion he brought to our vastly growing community. There will be no person who can stand in Dr. Postel's place in the now or the forever more. It is with tremendous sadness we receive this news.
-- Adam Todd, Director, AH Net

Gabe Battista, NSI
Vint Cerf, MCI
David Farber, U Penn
Harold Feld , DNRC
Ira Magaziner, USG
Herbert Schorr, ISI
Ken Stubbs, CORE
Adam Todd, AURSC
Antony Van Couvering
Paul Vixie, BIND
Internet Society Memorial Tributes
Photo Collage on IANA Homepage
Jonathan B. Postel Endowed Chair Jonathan B. Postel Service Award
He really was the most powerful person on the Net -- absolutely. He came by that power legitimately, as the only person who could command the respect and loyalty of the whole community.
-- David Farber, Professor of Telecommunications, University of Pennsylvania
While it seems almost impossible to avoid feeling an enormous sense of loss, as if yawning gap in our networked universe had opened up and swallowed our friend, I must tell you that I am comforted as I contemplate what Jon has wrought.
-- Vint Cerf, Senior VP of Internet Architecture , MCI Worldcom
Jon Postel Photo/2
Photo by Chris Pizzello
Jon was the real thing, a true giant. . . He had everyone's trust and confidence. They knew what he was doing was essentially right.
-- Herbert Schorr, Executive Director, ISI
Humanity lost a defender today. Against the squalid backdrop of human nature one man tested his mettle against the forces of chaos and entropy,without regard for his own personal safety, and gave our civilization some extra time to get itself organized before advancing along the track of history.
-- Paul Vixie, creator, Berkeley Internet Name Domain
It was Jon and his colleagues who helped create a revolution that will change mankind.
-- Ira Magaziner, Senior Advisor to the President on Policy Development

The greatest achievement of Jon Postel is that he created a stable system capable of surviving him. Today, the Internet is still working. I can surf the Web, send email, register a domain name, or perform any other critical function. Dr. Postel passes away, the Internet survives. There can be no greater tribute. As long as the Internet stands, it will remain a monument to his life's work.

-- Harold Feld, General Counsel, Domain Name Rights Coalition
The news of Jon Postel's passing has been a shock to all of us in Argentina. It is a
loss to the Internet worldwide community which will be irreplaceable. . . . Perhaps a fitting tribute to his memory (and tireless endeavours), would be for the Internet stakeholders worldwide to work closely, ironing out discrepancies and bringing the new corporation to a successful and satisfactory initiation. . . .Jon Postel deserves no less.
--Tony Harris, Secretary, CABASE
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