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Former ICANN director Blokzijl dies at 72

Kevin Murphy, December 7, 2015, 16:32:49 (UTC), Domain Registries

Rob Blokzijl, a former ICANN director widely acknowledged as an internet pioneer, died last week at the age of 72.

He passed away December 1, according to RIPE.

Blokzijl, a citizen of the Netherlands, was one of the founders of RIPE NCC, the European IP address registry and the first of the internet’s Regional Internet Registries, in 1989.

He was chair of the organization for 25 years until his retirement in 2013. He then held the title of Chair Emeritus.

RIPE said in a statement:

To many of us in the RIPE community and beyond, Rob was a mentor, a friend, a trusted confidante and always the voice of reason. His legacy stretches from the physical networks the Internet is made of to the community he built and the wisdom he injected into that community’s make-up from the very beginning. His legacy will continue to be felt as the community continues to grow and its participants often ask themselves, “What would Rob do?”

Blokzijl also sat on the board of ICANN, representing the Address Supporting Organization, from 1999 to 2002.

ICANN’s board passed a resolution in his memory last week, stating:

He was a gentle man who radiated warmth and optimism, while working constructively in the Netherlands, in Europe and, indeed, throughout the world to foster the development of the Internet.

Blokzijl was made Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau — a title awarded by the Dutch monarchy — in 2010 for his contributions to the internet.

Almost 200 people have left tributes on the RIPE web site.

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