Mouse Inventor Douglas Engelbart Passes Away

Posted Jul 3, 2013

Inventor Douglas Carl Engelbart, 88, has passed away.  Engelbart is well known for inventing the computer mouse.  He first demonstrated the mouse in San Francisco back in 1968 to an audience of about 1,000 people.  Engelbart’s first mouse was a wooden block and he showed how it worked on a computer screen.  Engelbart also demonstrated online collaboration and real-time text editing with the use of hypertext links on a computer system.  This demo took place 16 years before Apple released their first Macintosh.

At Engelbart’s 85th birthday in 2010, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reportedly leaned over to him and said “If all the leaders of the world — the presidents of all the countries, the CEOs of all the companies — were in this room, you’d be my hero,” according to Mercury News. “You’d be the one I’d gravitate to.”

Engelbart conducted human and computer interaction while at the Augmentation Research Center Lab in SRI International.  This led to the mouse invention along with the development of hypertext, networked computers, and GUIs.  At the lab, Engelbart emphasized on organizing principles which was called a “bootstrapping strategy.”

Engelbart passed away in his home in Atherton, California.