(FILES) This file photo taken on October 22, 2009 shows US programmer Raymond Samuel Tomlinson arriving prior to the presentation of the Prince of Asturias awards in Oviedo Spain. / AFP / MIGUEL RIOPA
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Ray Tomlinson, the U.S. programmer credited with inventing email in the 1970s and choosing the "@" symbol for the messaging system, died at the age of 74, his employer said Sunday.Tomlinson invented direct electronic messages in 1971 . Before his invention, users could only write messages to others on a limited network.A company spokesman said Tomlinson died Saturday, and the cause of death was not yet confirmed.When Tomlinson invented the "user@host" standard for email addresses, it was applied at DARPA's ARPANET, a U.S. government computer network that is considered the Internet's precursor.Tomlinson also played a leading role in developing the first email standards.
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