November 1, 1950 |
Brooklyn, New York, USA
|Known for||Lotus 1-2-3 and co-founder of The Electronic Frontier Foundation|
Mitchell David Kapor (born November 1, 1950) is the founder of Lotus Development Corporation and the designer of Lotus 1-2-3. He is also a co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and was the first chair of the Mozilla Foundation.
Early life and education
Kapor was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended public schools on Long Island in Freeport, New York, where he graduated from high school in 1967. In 1966, he studied astronomy at the Summer Science Program. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University in 1971 and studied psychology, linguistics and computer science as part of an interdisciplinary major in cybernetics. Kapor served as Music Director and Program Director at Yale's radio station WYBC-FM.
During the 1970s, Kapor was employed as a radio disc jockey at WHCN-FM, a commercial progressive rock station based in Hartford, Connecticut. It was also in this period that he became interested in Transcendental Meditation, going on to teach it in Cambridge, Massachusetts (where he also worked as a low-level computer programmer). Kapor subsequently began a career as a mental health counselor at New England Memorial Hospital in Stoneham, Massachusetts.
Kapor worked as head of development at VisiCorp (the marketers of VisiCalc) and selling the rights to his products VisiPlot and VisiTrend to VisiCorp. Shortly after Kapor left VisiCorp, he co-designed and developed an integrated spreadsheet and graphing program. Kapor founded Lotus Development Corporation in 1982 with Jonathan Sachs, Kapor served as the President (later Chairman) and Chief Executive Officer of Lotus from 1982 to 1986 and as a Director until 1987.
In 1990, with fellow digital rights activists John Perry Barlow and John Gilmore, he co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and served as its chairman until 1994. In 1990, Kapor's company ON Technology introduced the product On Location. The EFF was a non-profit civil liberties organization working in the public privacy and expression. In 2001, Kapor founded the Open Source Applications Foundation, where he worked on Chandler Project. His involvement with the Foundation and Project ended in 2008. Kapor became the Chair of the Mozilla Foundation at its inception in 2003. In 2006, Kapor founded, Foxmarks (later renamed as Xmarks), based in San Francisco.
Kapor was a founding investor in UUNET Technologies, an early Internet service provider. Kapor was Chairman of the Commercial Internet eXchange, Kapor was the original Chair and serves on the Board of Directors of Linden Lab, a San Francisco-based company, and he is a member of the Advisory Board for the Wikimedia Foundation.
Kapor serves on the advisory board of the Sunlight Foundation. In May 2009, after founder Susan P. Crawford had joined the Obama administration, Kapor took over chairmanship of OneWebDay - the "Earth Day for the internet". In 1996, the Computer History Museum named him a Museum Fellow "for his development of Lotus 1-2-3, the first major software application for the IBM PC." He founded the Mitchell Kapor Foundation to support his philanthropic interests in environmental health. He also co-founded, and is on the board of, the Level Playing Field Institute, a 501c(3) dedicated to fairness in education and workplaces
- "Civil Liberties in Cyberspace" - Scientific American Special Issue on Communications, Computers, and Networks, September, 1991 
- Electronic Newsletter of The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Cambridge, MA - scroll down to Current Legislative and Policy Efforts by Mitchell Kapor. - September 1991
- Articles in the EFF archive
- Rosenberg, Scott. Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software (2007) Random House ISBN 978-1-4000-8246-9, about Mitch Kapor, collaboration and massive software endeavors, particularly the open source calendar application Chandler.
- Mitchell Kapor: Biography www.kapor.com. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- Computer Hope (2012). Computer history - 1940 - 1960. Computer Hope. Retrieved on 2012-02-17 from http://www.computerhope.com/history/194060.htm.
- "The MIT 150: 150 Ideas, Inventions, and Innovators that Helped Shape Our World". The Boston Globe. May 15, 2011. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Cassidy, Mike (May 5, 2011). "Lotus founder Mitch Kapor sets his sights on fixing education". Contra Costa Times.
- New York Times. " New Retrieval Software By On Technology Inc." by John Markoff. January 22, 1990.
- Kapor, Mitch. "House Science Subcommittee Testimony". Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- "Advisory Board". Wikimedia Foundation. January 22, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-28.
- Cringely, Robert X. "Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date", Addison-Wesley, 1996, p95
- Board and Advisory Board Sunlight Foundation, February 14, 2011
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mitch Kapor.|
- Mitch Kapor's weblog archives
- Inside Mitch Kapor's World
- Mitch Kapor's Why Wikipedia is the next big thing
- Wikimania 2006 bio
- How to build a successful company, Mitch speaking at Stanford (podcast & video)
- Mitch Kapor interviewed on the TV show Trianglation on the TWiT.tv network