The Guy Who Invented GIFs Passed Away
Sad news for anyone who's ever used the Internet, which is all of us. The guy who invented GIFs passed away last week. It happened last Monday, but his family just announced it. His wife says he died of complications from covid.
His name is Steve Wilhite, and he was 74. (Pronounced WILL-height.) He invented the GIF file format in 1987 while working at the software company CompuServe.
He did an interview in 2012 and said the first GIF he made might have been an airplane, but he couldn't remember. Then a year after that, he tried to settle a big debate, which might never truly be settled.
The Webby Awards gave him their lifetime achievement award in 2013. And for his acceptance speech, he played a short video on the big screen that said . . . "It's pronounced JIF" . . . with "J", not a "G".
So now it's finally settled. "JIF" not "GIF."
Here's the video.