|Born||John Burdette Gage
Long Beach, CA
|Fields||Computer science, Water|
|Institutions||Sun Microsystems, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers , Markle Foundation, Human Needs Project|
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, Newport Harbor High School, Alliance Française|
|Known for||VP at Sun
Co-founder of NetDay, JavaOne
|Notable awards||ACM Computing, Computerworld Smithsonian Award, Federal Networking|
John Burdette Gage (born 1942) was the 21st employee of Sun Microsystems, where he is credited with creating the phrase: "The network is the computer." He served as Chief Researcher and Vice President of the Science Office for Sun, 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". In 2012, he helped build the Kibera Town Centre, a major water and community education center in the middle of Kibera, the largest slum in Africa.
He is also best known as one of the co-founders of NetDay in 1995, a crowd-sourced effort to bring the Internet to every school in the world. NetDay was the first large-scale crowd-sourced mass movement on the Internet. He joined the Human Needs Project in 2012 to build a networked water source and water treatment plant in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya.
For twelve years he hosted the annual JavaOne conference, bringing 20,000 Java programmers to San Francisco and establishing the Java language in over 95% of mobile devices, and as the basis of the Android operating system.
Gage received his bachelor's degree in 1975 from the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley. He also attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the Harvard Business School. Gage worked at Berkeley with Bill Joy, the person largely responsible for the authorship of Berkeley UNIX, also known as BSD, from which spring many modern forms of UNIX, including Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD. Gage helped found Sun Microsystems in 1982 with Bill Joy and others.
Gage is one of the central figures in the film Berkeley in the Sixties by Mark Kitchell, recounting the University of California, Berkeley Free Speech Movement. He appears in "American Stories: the American Dream: A Future Reborn 1918-1945", a five-part Discovery Channel documentary produced by Atlantic Productions.
He was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the Web Based Education Commission in 2000.
Most recently, he served on the US National Academy Committee on Scientific Communication and National Security and on the Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security, whose reports aided in reorganizing US intelligence agencies after 9/11. He has served on the boards of the US National Library of Medicine, of FermiLab, the Berkeley Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, and other scientific and educational groups.
Currently he serves on the Malaysian International Advisory Panel, the Malaysian Global Science and Advisory Panel and on the boards of the University of California, Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, the Oxford Martin School for the Twenty-first Century, the Center for Information Technology in the Interest of Society at UC Berkeley, the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation in Nairobi, and the Human Needs Project.
Gage was born on October 9, 1942 in Long Beach, California. His father was James Robert Gage, born in Woodville, East Texas, and president of the UCLA Class of 1935, Captain in the United States Navy, and senior manager for Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, then for McDonnell Douglas Aerospace in Seal Beach. His mother was Harriet Doris Burdette, born in Hollywood, California, whose grandfather crossed the Panama Isthmus to arrive in California in 1848. She taught in the Los Angeles school district. He has two siblings, James Collier Gage of Honolulu, and Laurie Gage, chief veterinarian for the Marine Mammal Center in Marin County, and US Department of Agriculture Big Cat and Marine Mammal Expert.
Gage was educated at Gardner Street Elementary School and LeConte Junior High School in Hollywood, California. In 1956, the family moved to Newport Beach, California. Gage attended Ensign Middle School and Newport Harbor High School, where he was student body president, All-American swimmer, and National Merit Scholar. He received the Harvard Book Award, and graduated in 1960.
Gage entered the University of California, Berkeley in the fall of 1960, in Honors Mathematics. In 1961, he entered the Alliance Française in Paris, then studied at the Université de Paris. Returning to Berkeley, he became deeply involved in the Free Speech Movement, as documented in Berkeley in the Sixties. He created the first Community Projects Office for the Associated Students of the University of California, placing over two thousand students in volunteer roles in schools and community organizations in Oakland and Berkeley.
He was a three-time All-American swimmer and Pacific Coast champion in the 100-yard breaststroke. He played on the Pacific Coast champion water polo team. He was a member of the Order of the Golden Bear and the Big C Society. In 1968, he joined six other students from California on the delegation assembled by Speaker of the California Assembly, Jesse Unruh, as a Robert Kennedy delegate to the Chicago Democratic Convention.
In the fall of 1968, after the Democratic Convention in Chicago, he entered the Harvard Business School. After one year, he transferred to the Harvard Kennedy School. He took leave to work on the George McGovern Presidential Campaign. After the McGovern campaign, he returned to UC Berkeley, where he completed his bachelor's degree in 1975, and entered the Ph.D program in Mathematical Economics at UC Berkeley. He left the Ph.D program in 1982 to help found Sun Microsystems.
Following the Free Speech Movement, Gage became active in opposing the war in Vietnam. He worked on the Robert Scheer for Congress campaign in 1966, almost defeating a Democratic Congressman who supported the war. He co-chaired the Robert Kennedy for President campaign in 1968 in Alameda County, and was a Robert Kennedy delegate to the 1968 Chicago Convention, representing Berkeley and Oakland.
At Harvard, he helped form the Vietnam Moratorium Committee with Sam Brown, David Hawk, Marge Sklenkar, and David Mixner, and co-chaired the New England division. He organized the 125,000 person Boston Common Vietnam Moratorium demonstration in October. and coordinated the 400,000 person Vietnam Moratorium demonstration on the Washington Monument grounds in Washington, DC. Nationwide, the Vietnam Moratorium was the largest mass demonstration in US history, with over two million people involved
He organized a number of major antiwar demonstrations in Boston, in New York, in Washington, and in Philadelphia. In 1972, he was named by White House attorney John Dean to Nixon's Enemy List.
He was the first field organizer for students for the McGovern Presidential campaign in California, then joined the national campaign as assistant press secretary and trip director. In that role, he coordinated the day-to-day movement of the press and staff from event to event nationwide. In the 1976 Carter campaign, he helped train staff, and organized the final rallies in California. In the 1980 Ted Kennedy campaign, he was assistant press secretary and trip director, and member of the traveling party.
In 2008, Gage spent several weeks in Ankeny, Iowa, organizing for the Obama for President campaign.
In 1969, Gage was asked by Bill Hanley, the owner of the staging and sound system Gage used in Washington for the Vietnam Moratorium to come to Palm Beach, Florida, to produce the Palm Beach Festival with Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Sly and the Family Stone, Sha-Na-Na and other performers. Subsequently, he produced the Louisiana Festival, the New York Shea Stadium Peace Concert with Peter Yarrow, the Philadelphia Peace Concert, and several other events involving over 100,000 people.
In 1982, Gage joined Bill Joy, Andy Bechtolsheim, Vinod Khosla, Scott McNealy and others to found Sun Microsystems. He was responsible for all exterior relations, including marketing, sales, and technical support to customers. As Sun grew, Gage became the Vice President and Director of the Science Office, with responsibility for scientific computing, networking, and relationships with universities, scientific laboratories, international scientific bodies, national intelligence agencies, and multilateral agencies including the World Bank and the United Nations. Gage testified often to the US Congress, to United Nations ECOSOC meetings, and was part of numerous United Nations special commissions. In 2002, Gage joined the UN Information Technology Taskforce. In 2006, Gage joined the UN Digital Health Taskforce. For the World Economic Forum, he helped organize the Jordan Network Initiative.
In 2002, Sun Microsystems reached $25 billion [2015 USD] in revenues.
In 2008, Oracle purchased Sun.
In 2000, Gage spent a year at the Harvard Kennedy School as a Shorenstein Fellow. He taught a class of 90 students entitled "Technology, Journalism and Politics", for which he won the "Most Influential Course" award.
Gage founded NetDay in 1995 with Michael Kaufman and several others. NetDay was the first crowd sourcing event organized using the Internet.
Gage created zoomable maps of the 140,000 schools in the United States, placing a meter-accurate dot for each school, color-coded for whether or not the school was connected to the Internet. He created a web-based sign-up page for each school, and "called on high-tech companies to commit resources to schools, libraries, and clinics worldwide so that they could connect to the Internet." At some schools, hundreds of volunteers signed up, promising to come to the school on Saturday, March 9, 1995, to install Ethernet cable. to 5 classrooms and the library. On the first NetDay in California, over 100,000 engineers wired 4,000 schools. President Clinton and Vice-President Gore pulled cable in Ygnacio Valley High School. Over the next year, over 70,000 schools across the United States held NetDays to wire their schools, and NetDay spread to Korea, Great Britain, France, and other countries.
In the first state, California, over 100,000 volunteers wired 4,000 schools in one day: March 9, 1996. NetDay was endorsed by President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, active participants in NetDay'96. Over the next two years, over 70,000 US K-12 schools held NetDays, and Korea, Great Britain, France and other countries held national NetDays.
Bringing Networking to Water:Human Needs Project
Gage joined Connie Nielsen and David Warner in building a large community center in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya. The Kibera Town Centre well can provide over 400 cubic meters of pure water a day to the 1000 square-meter facility, which serves over a thousand people a day with a combination of educational and career services, showers, toilets, laundry, cafe, and financial services.
The facility is connected to high-speed fiber optic cable, and has built a half-gigabit wireless network for Kibera.
Gage is married to Linda Schacht Gage, lecturer in Journalism at UC Berkeley, and has two children: Peter Gage, formerly with the US Department of Energy, now with Renewable Finance, and Kate Gage, now with the USAID Global Development Laboratory.
- Reiss, Spencer (1996-12-01). "Power to the People". Wired.
- "The Technology Chronicles : John Gage Leaves Sun Microsystems To Become A Venture Capitalist". The San Francisco Chronicle. 2008-06-09.
- Buckman, Rebecca (June 10, 2008). "Sun's Gage to Join Kleiner Perkins". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
- John Gage Joins Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as Partner
- Austin, Scott; Hay, Timothy (March 31, 2010). "John Gage Departing Kleiner Perkins After Less Than Two Years". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Human Needs Project". Human Needs Project. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
- "Haas NewsWire, February 20, 2001". Haas School of Business and the Regents of the University of California. 2001-02-20.
- BSD Unix: Power to the people, from the code
- Olsen, Stephanie (June 9, 2008). "Sun's John Gage joins Al Gore in clean-tech investing". Retrieved 2008-06-12.
- BBC. "1969: Millions march in US Vietnam Moratorium". BBC. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
- Rubenstein, Steve (March 9, 1996). "Clinton, Gore in Concord Today for NetDay: 20,000 volunteers wire computers at California schools". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
- Policy '98: Implications for SIGCHI
- Information Technology and Economic Development, in Economic Development, Oxford University Press, 1999.
- Workstations in Science, with Bill Joy in AAAS Science 26 April 1985, Vol 228.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Gage.|
- Smithsonian Institution Leadership Award Oral History, 29 March 1999
- John Gage interviewed in documentary film Berkeley in the Sixties
- Video Interview with John Gage, Association for Computing Machinery
- Power to the People: Why is John Gage, a bearded old Berkeley troublemaker, carrying the corporate flag for the Pentagon's favorite computer maker?, Wired
- American Stories: The American Dream , 28 June 1998
- American Stories: 
- Science, Vol. 228 no. 4698 pp. 467-470 DOI: 10.1126/science.228.4698.467