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Michael Hart

[Please see Michael Hart (musician) for the article about that recording artist.]

Michael Stern Hart (b. 1947) is an American eccentric best known as the founder of Project Gutenberg, which converts books in the public domain into electronic text files that can be displayed on virtually any computer. The e-texts can be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg mirrors worldwide.

A gifted but non-standard student, Hart received a Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois (1973), in an independent-study program, but dropped out of graduate school. In 1971 he combined the interests of his parents (mom a mathematics education professor and dad a Shakespeare professor) when the U. of I. computer center gave him free access to its computer, and he foresaw that the future of computers would be information retrieval, not number-crunching. So he started out by posting text copies of such classics as the United States Declaration of Independence, the Bible, and the works of Homer, Shakespeare, and Mark Twain, and that was the beginning of Project Gutenberg.

See also History of the Internet.

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Selected interviews

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