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Larry Irving Becomes First African American Inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame

Larry Irving Becomes First African American Inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame

Larry Irving, an internet pioneer who coined the term “digital divide,” was honored on Friday by becoming the first African American inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. 

Irving, who served in the Clinton Administration as an advisor on telecommunications and information technology issues, was recognized for his impact on increasing internet access to unserved and underserved populations. As someone who is continuing to work on making the internet as inclusive as possible, he tells CNN that he hopes his honor by the Hall of Fame “will lead to more opportunities for more minorities to become players in this industry.” 

In addition to serving in the Clinton Administration, a Globe Newswire press release says that Irving also served on the Obama-Biden transition team in 2008-2009. During this time, he developed the administration’s broadband technology initiative (BTOP), which focused on connecting communities to broadband networks to increase consumer access and connectivity. 

After leaving the government, Irving focused on building out his Washington, D.C. based consulting firm, The Irving Group, where he provides strategic assistance to technology companies, foundations and nonprofits who are looking to address their digital divide. For AOL he helped to develop a strategy that would allow the company to increase its number of online minority subscribers and for Cisco he helped the company to open markets in Bulgaria and Romania. 

Aside from his recent Hall of Fame honor by the Internet Society, Irving has also been recognized with several other honors including a Congressional Black Caucus Technology Champion Award, a Rainbow Push Coalition Trailblazer Award, a National Association of Minorities in Communications Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award and a 1995 honor by Newsweek Magazine as one of the 50 most influential people in the year of the internet.