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4 Things You Might Not Have Known About the World Wide Web’s Inventor

TIME - Tim Berners-Lee proposed the idea on Nov. 12, 1990

“HyperText is a way to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will,” Berners-Lee and Belgian computer scientist Robert Cailliau wrote in the Nov. 12, 1990, proposal for what would become the World Wide Web.

 The Web has since become such a dominant means of sharing information over the Internet that many people don’t know there’s a difference between the two. (That difference? The Internet is a network of networks, a way for a handful of computers connected to one another to share data with billions of other such networks worldwide, while the Web is a hypertext-based information-sharing system that runs atop the Internet, literally and figuratively linking websites to one another.)

 It took TIME seven years after Berners-Lee first proposed the web to write a profile of him. Here are four fun facts from that May 19, 1997, piece: