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Stephen Wilhite, creator of the GIF, passes away

Thursday, March 24, 2022 • Tamil Comments
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Stephen Wilhite, an American computer scientist and creator of the GIF image format, passed away at the age of 74 from complications due to Covid-19. He had reportedly contracted the infection on March 1.

Wilhite came up with the idea of Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) way back in the 1980s when he worked for CompuServe. The GIF is currently used by millions of social media users across the world in the form of animated memes and templates. The computer scientist had explained in 2013 in an interview with The New York Times that people had been pronouncing ‘GIF’ wrong for years. “The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations. They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story,” he was quoted as saying.

Stephen Wilhite’s wife Kathaleen revealed that he had invented GIF all by himself back in July 1987. “He actually did that at home and brought it into work after he perfected it,” she said. Wilhite’s obituary read, “Even with all his accomplishments, he remained a very humble, kind, and good man.”

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