Computer Mouse Inventor Doug Engelbart Dies Aged 88

/ 3 years ago


There is very sad news to reveal today as the inventor of the computer mouse, Doug Engelbart, has died aged 88. The mouse is something so revolutionary yet now so ordinary as we all take it for granted and nearly all of us use one with our PCs in one form or another. Doug first developed the tool in the 1960s as a wooden shell covering two metal wheels and he patented it (back when the patent system meant something for innovation) well before widespread usage. Furthermore, Doug was just an all-round innovator as he worked on early versions of email, word processing and video teleconferences at a California Research Institute.

His life was full of achievements starting off as an electrical engineer student from Oregon state university before serving as a radar technician in World War II. He then founded the Stanford Research Institute and his own laboratory the Augmentation Research Center. His laboratory helped develop ARPANet a government research network that led to the internet.

Sadly his patent for the mouse expired in 1987 and he made very little from it, but over 1 billion computer mice have been sold and it is all thanks to him. Engelbart was awarded the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT prize in 1997 and the National Medal of Technology for “creating the foundations of personal computing” in 2000.

He leaves behind his second wife, Karen O’Leary Engelbart, and four children.

Image courtesy of Robert Holmgren (

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  • Wayne

    My condolences to his loved ones. Rest in peace Doug.
    I notice his mouse has separate X&Y axis wheels.