Philip Emeagwali, biography, A Father of the Internet, supercomputer pioneer, Nigerian scientist, inventor

Title: Emeagwali Passport Photo, 1973

Location : Christos Photo, near Venn Road & Iweka Road, Onitsha, Nigeria.

Date: 1973

Transparency: 35mm

Print: 2 x 2 Black & White

Permission: We grant permission to reproduce, print and distribute these photographs and request the credit line "©"


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Philip Emeagwali was born in Nigeria in 1954. Due to civil war in his country, he was forced to drop out of school at age 12 and was conscripted into the Biafran army at age 14. After the war ended, he completed his high school equivalency by self-study and came to the United States on a scholarship in 1974.

After 15 years of study and research, Emeagwali won the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize, which has been called "supercomputing's Nobel Prize," for inventing a formula that allows computers to perform fast computations --- a discovery that inspired the reinvention of supercomputers.

He was extolled by then U.S. president Bill Clinton as "one of the great minds of the Information Age" and described by CNN as "a father of the Internet." According to data from, Emeagwali is the modern scientist most searched-for on the Internet.

Why did you take this photo?:
"In May-1973, I received my entrance examination results from the University of London but decided to continue my studies in the United States. The Nigerian passport office required this photo. It was scanned from my passport issued on Dec. 27, 1973." --- Emeagwali

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