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The creator of the GIF, Stephen Wilhite, has died

His impact on internet conversations will be forever remembered.

stephen wilhite on gif collage background
Image: KnowTechie

Stephen Wilhite, the creator of the infamous Graphics Interchange Format – better known as GIF – has died. He was 74 years old.

You can’t get on the internet these days without seeing a GIF. While they might be for old people now, there is no denying their impact on how we communicate online.

The impact of these moving images can’t be denied, but what can, and will, be denied is the ongoing debate on the pronunciation of the acronym.

Yes, I know Wilhite officially came out and said it was pronounced “jif,” but I will never stop pronouncing it with a hard “g.”

The humble GIF was introduced to the world in 1987. Stephen’s wife, Kathaleen, tells The Verge, “He invented GIF all by himself — he actually did that at home and brought it into work after he perfected it.”

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