Ron Crane (engineer)

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Ronald C. Crane
Ron in Aerospace Museum in 2012.png
Born(1950-06-01)June 1, 1950
DiedJune 19, 2017(2017-06-19) (aged 67)
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materMIT
Stanford University
Known forInvention of the EtherLink controller
SpouseRosanne Kermoian Crane (m. 2017)
Scientific career
FieldsComputer networking
InstitutionsXerox PARC
LAN Media

Ronald "Ron" C. Crane (June 1, 1950 - June 19, 2017) was an American electrical engineer recognized for designing the EtherLink, the first network interface controller for the IBM PC.[1] He has been credited as the co-founder of 3Com and the co-inventor of the Ethernet.[2]


Crane graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his bachelor's degree in 1972 and from Stanford University for his master's degree in 1974, both in electrical engineering. In 1973, while pursuing his doctorate degree at Stanford, Crane joined the TCP/IP protocol research team, headed by Vint Cerf. Subsequently, when a "Birth of the Internet" plaque was installed on Stanford grounds in 2005, Ron Crane was mentioned as well as his colleague Bob Metcalfe as being fundamental contributors to the birth of the Internet.

Crane left Stanford in 1974, accepting a master's instead of his planned doctorate degree, and worked at the Xerox Systems Development Division, a spinoff of Xerox PARC, where he was responsible for enhancing the original Ethernet transmission system.[3] Crane joined Robert Metcalfe at 3Com as the fourth employee and co-founder in 1979.[4] It was here at 3Com that Crane developed the 3C100, the first Thick Ethernet transceiver for the IBM PC, which went on to be the first major product offered by 3Com.[5]

Crane founded LAN Media Corporation in 1992. It was later acquired by SBE Incorporated in 2000, which was in turn acquired by Neonode in 2007.[6][7]

In 2006, Crane endowed a professorship at MIT to support energy-related research.[3]

Crane died on June 19, 2017, from complications of an aggressive form of prostate cancer. A memorial event was held at The Computer History Museum and attended by over 100 esteemed colleagues, friends, and family. Bob Metcalfe gave the closing speech.[8]

In 2019 a book entitled "The 3Com story" was published, that in part documents Crane's contributions to networking and 3Com.

Ron Crane.png

For more information of Ron C. Crane's technical accomplishments please visit:


  1. ^ Myslewski, Rik (28 May 2013). "How God and übergeek Ron Crane saved 3Com's bacon". The Register. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  2. ^ Metcalfe, Bob (20 Jun 2017). "Ronald C. Crane passed away yesterday.... MIT '72, Ethernet co-inventor, 3Com co-founder, friend....Rest in peace". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-10-13.
  3. ^ a b Karagianis, Liz (Spring 2006). "Good Energy". MIT Spectrum. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  4. ^ Kirsner, Scott. "The Legend of Bob Metcalfe". WIRED. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  5. ^ "3Com Celebrates 30 Years of Innovation". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  6. ^ "SBE Inc. Acquires LAN Media Corporation". news release. San Ramon, California. July 14, 2000. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  7. ^ "SBE and Neonode Announce Execution of Merger Agreement". news release. San Ramon, California: Business Wire. January 22, 2007. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
  8. ^ "Legacy Ron Crane".