John Gage

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For other people named John Gage, see John Gage (disambiguation).
John Gage
John Gage.jpg
John Gage
Born John Burdette Gage
Long Beach, CA
Citizenship USA
Nationality USA
Fields Computer science
Institutions Sun Microsystems, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers , Neofocal
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley, Harvard Kennedy School, Alliance Française, Newport Harbor High School
Known for VP at Sun
Co-founder of NetDay, JavaOne

John Burdette Gage (born 1942) was the 5th employee of Sun Microsystems,[1] where he is credited with creating the phrase "the network is the computer." [1] He served as Chief Researcher and Vice President of the Science Office for Sun,[2] until leaving on June 9, 2008 to join Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a partner to work on green technologies for global warming; he departed KPCB in 2010 to apply what he had learned "to broader issues in other parts of the world".[3][4][5] He is also best known as one of the co-founders of NetDay in 1995.


Gage received his bachelor's degree in 1975 from the University of California, Berkeley.[6] He also attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the Harvard Business School. While at Berkeley, he was a three-time All-American swimmer. He was a leader in the anti-war movement and was a delegate for Robert Kennedy in 1968 for the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, representing Berkeley and Alameda County, California. He co-chaired the Robert Kennedy campaign in Alameda County.[7] Gage had worked at Berkeley with Bill Joy, the person largely responsible for the authorship of Berkeley UNIX, also known as BSD, from which springs many modern forms of UNIX, including Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD.[8] Gage joined Sun Microsystems in 1982 with Bill Joy and others.

In 1968, and again in 1970, he was a co-organizer of Vietnam Moratorium, anti-Vietnam War events in Boston and Washington, DC. In November, 1969, he produced the final show of the Rolling Stones 1969 tour, the Palm Beach International Music and Arts Festival, with Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, ShaNaNa, Jefferson Airplane, Wavy Gravy, and a cast of thousands. He co-produced the August 6, 1970 12-hour Festival for Peace in Shea Stadium, New York, with Peter Yarrow, Creedence Clearwater, Janis Joplin, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Winter, Miles Davis, Poco, Sha-Na-Na, Steppenwolf, Richie Havens, PG&E, John Sebastian, the Staple Singers, Joan Baez, the lighting and staging of Peter Fields and the sound systems of Bill Hanley. Bill Graham's Fillmore East provided on-stage support, along with the Hog Farm.

In April, 2002, Gage joined the Markle Taskforce on National Security in the Information Age, whose two reports explore how federal, state and local governments collect, analyze and use information as it relates to national security and homeland defense. Their two reports, when joined with the reports of the 9/11 Commission and the WMD Commission Report, formed the foundation for the 2004-2005 reforms of the intelligence and homeland security communities.

In June, 2008, Gage retired from Sun Microsystems and joined Kleiner Perkins as a venture capitalist along with Al Gore.[9]

He left Kleiner Perkins in 2010.


President Bill Clinton installing computer cables with Vice President Al Gore on NetDay at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord, CA. March 9, 1996.

Gage is perhaps also best[dubious ] known as one of the founders of NetDay in 1995 with Michael Kaufman. NetDay "called on high-tech companies to commit resources to schools, libraries, and clinics worldwide so that they could connect to the Internet." [9] It was endorsed by President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore who were active participants in NetDay'96.[10] In 1998, Gage was awarded the ACM Presidential Award by Chuck House, the President of the ACM for his work on NetDay.[11]

Capsule biography[edit]

Gage was previously the Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office for Sun Microsystems, Inc, and was partner in the firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where he provided counsel to the firm’s global network of entrepreneurs, scientists, academics, and government leaders.

Gage has served on scientific advisory panels for the US National Research Council and the US National Academy of Sciences. Most recently, he served on the National Academy Committee on Scientific Communication and National Security, issuing the report "Beyond Fortress America: National Security Controls on Science and Technology in a Globalized World" in 2009. He served on the Markle Task Force on National Security, whose reports helped in reorganizing US intelligence agencies. He has also been a member of the Board of Regents of the US National Library of Medicine, the Board of Trustees of Fermi National Laboratory, the External Advisory Council for the World Bank, and the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society (ISOC). He serves on the United Nations Task Force on Digital Health, the Advisory Board of the World-Wide Web Foundation, and the advisory board of the University of Oxford Martin School.

He is on the Board of the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation in Nairobi, working to bring peace and economic development to the nomadic tribes of the Rift Valley of Kenya, on the board of Relief International, an international humanitarian agency, and on the Malaysian Multimedia Corridor International Advisory Panel.

In 1995, Gage created NetDay, a volunteer project to bring the resources of high technology companies to schools and libraries to connect them to the Internet. Since then, over 500,000 volunteers have wired over 50,000 schools and libraries in the United States.

In 1999, President Clinton appointed Gage to the Web-Based Education Commission, which issued its report December, 2000. The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government named Gage as one of five distinguished journalists and scholars to be a 2000 Fall Fellow. He taught a course on technology, media, and governance during the Harvard Kennedy School fall semester of 2000.

Gage attended the University of California, Berkeley, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the Harvard Graduate School of Business. He did his doctoral work in mathematics and economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and left Berkeley in 1982 to join Bill Joy as one of the original employees of Sun Microsystems. He is a member of the Mathematical Association of America, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).



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