eBook Inventor Michael S. Hart Passes Away

Michael S. Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg and inventor of the idea for the eBook way way way back in 1971 in the pre-WWW, pre-smart phone, pre-Kindle, pre-commercialization of everything on the Internet era, died earlier this week. He was 64. Librarians (and computer geeks) thought the world of him.

The Project Gutenberg website has published an obituary:

Hart was best known for his 1971 invention of electronic books, or eBooks. He founded Project Gutenberg, which is recognized as one of the earliest and longest-lasting online literary projects. He often told this story of how he had the idea for eBooks. He had been granted access to significant computing power at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On July 4 1971, after being inspired by a free printed copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, he decided to type the text into a computer, and to transmit it to other users on the computer network. From this beginning, the digitization and distribution of literature was to be Hart’s life’s work, spanning over 40 years.

More on his passing:


  1. We lost another bright light too soon