James Peyton Gray

James Peyton Gray

Died November 3, 2007

James Gray didn’t invent the Internet, but he sure was present at the creation. Working for IBM’s Research Division at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, Jim was a key member of the team which developed the network protocols that allowed computers to talk to each other. One of those protocols is used on the Internet today; another, more secure, version remains proprietary to IBM and is still used in some banking systems. In all, Jim held numerous patents, and also was an author of SNA and TCP/IP Enterprise Networking, which he co-wrote with Daniel Lynch.

In 1984 James was named an IBM fellow, becoming the youngest person at the time to achieve IBM’s highest technical award, given to only the “most exceptional” professionals. IBM Fellows are given broad latitude to identify and pursue projects in their areas of expertise, and Jim authored numerous articles on systems network architecture which appeared in the IBM Systems Journal. One of his greatest legacies at IBM was his team. He attracted, and mentored some of the best engineers in the company, and helped them build their careers. He is fondly remembered by those who worked with him and for him.

Jim majored in electrical engineering at Yale, was on the Dean’s List from 1961-64 and a Ranking Scholar from 1962-64. He held a General Motors National Scholarship from 1961-65 and a Yale National Scholarship in 1961. Jim stayed in New Haven and earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering, specifically in sonar theory, in 1970 from Yale’s Engineering and Applied Science Department.

In 1962 he married Laura Henry, whom he had met growing up in Miami. They had two children, Richard and Cynthia, and there are now seven grandchildren.

James died on November 3, 2007, of complications from osteomyelitis. His wife, Laura, passed away September 1, 1993.