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First Email Sender Dies. Ray Tomlinson Was 74

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. The man who sent the first email has died. Ray Tomlinson, who died at 74, once said he sent that first message to himself.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RAY TOMLINSON: I had two computers that were literally side-by-side. And I could wheel my chair from one to the other, and type a message in one and then go to the other and see what I had tried to send.

INSKEEP: Colleagues recall a man who never did get addicted to checking his email. He said the first message was forgettable. And as if to prove that, he forgot what it said. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.