How I Invented a New Internet | A Father of the Internet

This is Philip Emeagwali

Mar 28 2018 • 27 mins

The Reader’s Digest described Philip Emeagwali as “smarter than Albert Einstein.” He is ranked as the greatest living genius. He is listed in the top 20 greatest minds that ever lived. That list includes Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, William Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci, Aristotle, and Confucius. Philip Emeagwali lived in refugee camps during the 1967-70 Nigerian-Biafran War and is in the Gallery of Prominent Refugees of the United Nations. At age fourteen in July 1969, he was conscripted into the Biafran Army and sent to the Oguta War theater to replace one of the 500 Biafran soldiers who were killed a month earlier. In the list of the worst genocidal crimes of the 20th century committed against humanity, the death of one in fifteen Biafrans was ranked fifth. Due to the Nigerian Civil War, Philip Emeagwali dropped out of school for five years but developed a reputation in Onitsha (Nigeria) as a gifted teenager. He caught the attention of American scholars and was awarded a scholarship on September 10, 1973, to the United States where he researched for two decades and contributed to mathematics, physics, and computer science. Philip Emeagwali is in the top ten rankings of geniuses, inventors, Nigerians, and was voted the 35th greatest African of all time. In 1989, Philip Emeagwali rose to fame when he won a recognition described as the Nobel Prize of Supercomputing and made the news headlines for his invention of first world’s fastest computing across an Internet that’s a global network of processors. That vital technology underpins every supercomputer and changed the way we look at the computer. Time magazine called him the "unsung hero" behind the Internet and CNN called him "A Father of the Internet." House Beautiful magazine ranked his invention among nine important everyday things taken for granted. In a White House speech of August 26, 2000, then U.S. President Bill Clinton described Philip Emeagwali as “one of the great minds of the Information Age.” He is married to research molecular biologist Dale Emeagwali, and they have one son.