Inventor of GIF Computer Imagery Has Died at Age 74

Inventor of GIF Computer Imagery Has Died at Age 74

Stephen Wilhite acquiring his Webby life time accomplishment award in Might 2013 for inventing the GIF.


Associated Push

Stephen Wilhite

was basically hoping to resolve a technological issue when he invented the GIF, or graphics interchange structure, in 1987. As a programmer at the computer system-products and services organization CompuServe, he was looking for a way for consumers of incompatible computers to share graphics documents.

The first GIF he developed was unspectacular—a photograph of an plane. Only a great deal later was the technologies tailored for the brief, looping animations that jazz up social-media postings.

Mr. Wilhite, who died March 14 of Covid-19 at the age of 74, “never acquired 1 cent” out of his invention, claimed his spouse, Kathaleen Wilhite. Nor, she claimed, did he complain about not building a fortune: “He was just so proud that he had accomplished that.”

He did gain a Webby life span achievement award in 2013 for inventing the GIF. At the insistence of his spouse, he rented a tuxedo for the ceremony. He utilized the event to tell the planet that GIF is pronounced like Jif, the peanut butter brand. Mr. Wilhite’s favourite GIF was a basic that includes a dancing child.

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Around the age of 51, he retired early just after struggling a stroke that made it difficult for him to talk evidently. He relished tenting and tinkering with a design prepare format that stuffed a 170-sq.-foot area in his household in Milford, Ohio.

Stephen Earl Wilhite was born March 3, 1948, and grew up in West Chester, Ohio, around Cincinnati. His father labored in a manufacturing unit, and his mom was a nurse. He attended Ohio Point out University on a scholarship.

Survivors include his spouse, a son from an before marriage and four sisters. He satisfied Kathaleen Bauer as a result of an net dating services in 2009. Their 1st date was at a Cracker Barrel restaurant. They married about a yr later.

Create to James R. Hagerty at [email protected]

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Appeared in the March 26, 2022, print edition as ‘GIF Inventor Began With Modest Goal.’

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