Paul Flaherty

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Paul Andrew Flaherty December 31, 2005

Paul Andrew Flaherty (1964 – March 16, 2006) was an American computer scientist. He was a renowned specialist in internet protocols and the inventor of the AltaVista search engine.


Flaherty was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from Marquette University, and his Master's Degree and PhD from Stanford University.

He joined Digital Equipment Corporation in 1994 and, as the Associated Press wrote:

He held an amateur radio Extra class license with the call sign N9FZX. Was President, W6YX, Stanford Amateur Radio Club, 1986-1990.

  • Station Engineer, W6YX, Stanford Amateur Radio Club, 1990-1994.
  • Started the VHF+ mailing list in 1989.
  • Member of the Marquette Chapter of Triangle Fraternity as an undergrad, where he served as chapter President. He made a habit of challenging his fraternity brothers to drinking contests that he would invariably lose; on one occasion testing the limits of human inebriation to the extent that he required gastric lavage.
  • While a grad student drove a 1979 Z28 Camaro with T-tops.

At age 42, Flaherty died of a heart attack in Belmont, California.