School of Information Science - Hall of Fame

Tim O'Reilly
  • Tim O'Reilly
  • Born: Unknown
  • Field: Computer publishing; computer software; Internet
  • Focus: Cofounded O'Reilly and Associates publishing and media. Strong proponent of the free software and open source movements.
  • Country: United States
  • Era: 1990 to present

Tim O'Reilly is cofounder and CEO of O'Reilly Media (formerly O'Reilly and Associates), thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. In addition to publishing pioneering books like Ed Krol's "The Whole Internet User's Guide & Catalog" (selected by the New York Public Library as one of the most significant books of the twentieth century), O'Reilly has also been a pioneer in the popularization of the Internet. O'Reilly's Global Network Navigator site (GNN, which was sold to America Online in September 1995) was the first Web portal and the first true commercial site on the World Wide Web.

O'Reilly continues to pioneer new content developments on the Web via its O'Reilly Network affiliate, which also manages sites such as and O'Reilly's conference arm hosts the popular Perl Conference, the Open Source Software Convention, and the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference.

O'Reilly has been an activist for internet standards and for Open Source software. He has led successful public relations campaigns on behalf of key internet technologies, helping to block Microsoft's 1996 limits on TCP/IP in NT Workstation, organizing the " summit" of key free software leaders where the term "Open Source" was first widely agreed upon, and, most recently, organizing a series of protests against frivolous software patents. Tim received Infoworld's Industry Achievement Award in 1998 for his advocacy on behalf of the Open Source community.

O'Reilly graduated from Harvard University in 1975 with a B.A. cum laude in Classics. His honors thesis explored the tension between mysticism and logic in Plato's dialogues. An archive of O'Reilly's online articles, talks, and interviews can be found at his archive page.

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