Gary Thuerk was the world's first spammer. On May 3, 1978, Carl Gartley, on Thuerk's behalf, sent out the first spam over the network of government and university computers known as the ARPAnet. A marketing manager for Digital Equipment Corp., he wanted to publicize open houses in Los Angeles and San Mateo where the company's latest computers would be unveiled.
Several thousand people were on the ARPAnet then, most of them computer scientists. Thuerk wanted to send all 600 ARPAnet members on the West Coast an e-mail invitation.
That's when he had his illumination. "It's too much work to send everyone an e-mail," he decided. "So we'll send one e-mail to everyone." The reaction from the net community was fiercely negative, but Thuerk's spam did generate some sales. Thuerk was interviewed on CBC Television's SPAM: The Documentary.
Thuerk's innovation has gotten him into Guinness World Records. He also does some "promotional work for anti-spam companies."
"He says people have one of three reactions when they meet him: Some are excited to meet someone with an unusual claim to fame; some want to beat him up on the spot; and others just avoid him like the plague."
The Father of Spam: half of all e-mail sent today is Spam. What does the man who started it all think of it now?(Hot seat: Gary Thuerk)
Oct 01, 2003; EVERY DAY--EVERY HOUR--IT COMES, AND just try to stop it. Spamming costs businesses $8 billion to $10 billion per year in lost...