Stephen Wilhite, the inventor of the GIF, has died

Almost everyone has used an animated gif at least once on social networks and on their devices. Stephen Wilhite, inventor of this famous format, passed away a few days ago at the age of 74. Yet another victim of COVID-19. Today, GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) are used in online conversations as memes and jokes, but in reality they have existed for decades and were born for very different reasons. Stephen Wilhite created the GIF in the late 1980s when he was employed at CompuServe, which is the beginning of the Internet age, with the aim of offering a format that would facilitate the download of color images at a time when speed of the Internet was completely different from the current one. Hence the .gif format has become one of the most popular on the web. Farewell to the inventor of the GIF format. “Humble, kind and good man” The unfortunate occasion allows to clarify the debate on the pronunciation of this acronym. As stated by the inventor Wilhite, the word “GIF” is pronounced with the soft G, or “JIF”. Stephen Wilhite has always remained a humble person and out of the spotlight. After retiring in the early 2000s, the inventor of the GIF image has spent his life traveling and building model trains in the basement of his home. “Even with all his achievements, he has remained a very humble, kind and good man,” his wife Kathaleen said in an interview with The Verge.

6 thoughts on “Stephen Wilhite, the inventor of the GIF, has died

  1. Jif, really? I wonder how many birthday jifts I’ll get this year and how many jears the jearbox of my car has. I’m just jlad we could clear this up. But god to know Mr. Wilhite didn’t die of janjrene.

    Jood day sir.

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