Micheal Stern Heart, the inventor of the electronic book, or eBook, and founder of web-hosted literature resource Project Guttenberg, has died aged 64.
After a spell in the armed forces serving in Korea, Heart headed over to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On July 4th 1971 Heart, inspired by being given a free copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, transcribed the text using a computer and shared it across the university network.
Heart then spent the next 40 years refining the digitization and distribution of eBooks, as they came to be known, culminating in the 36,000 free books now seen in the Project Guttenberg web library.
If you’re the owner of a Kindle, or have ever read a page of a book through your PC, raise a glass to the man who kick-started a publishing revolution.