The Internet was based on the idea of an "intergalactic network" of computers envisioned by J.C.R. Licklider in the early 1960s. However, no single person created the Internet. Shortly after this idea came to light, scientists developed packet switching.
Packet switching is a method of effectively and quickly transmitting electronic data and is one of the major backbones of the Internet. The first working prototype of the Internet was presented in the late 1960s and was called the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, or ARPANET for short. The project received funding from the U.S. Department of Defense.
ARPANET was the foundation of the Internet, but it wasn't until scientists Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn developed Internet Protocol and Transmission Control Protocol in the 1970s that the Internet started to resemble a system that could be used by the general public.
Despite the fact that TCP and IP were developed in the 1970s, the Internet didn't reach its recognizable form until 1990, nearly 20 years later. This is when scientist Tim Berners-Lee developed the World Wide Web. Although the World Wide Web is often confused as the Internet itself, it is actually just a set of software protocols used for accessing data stored on the physical hardware of the Internet.