“Leo Leroy Beranek (September 15, 1914 – October 10, 2016) was an American acoustics expert, former MIT professor, and a founder and former president of Bolt, Beranek and Newman (now BBN Technologies).” from Wikipedia.
In 1969, the company he helped found, Bolt, Beranek & Newman, won a contract from the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency to build the first computer-based network, which came to be called Arpanet.
By demonstrating the ability to share data and messages through vast computer networks, Arpanet, a product of government-sponsored research, paved the way for the creation of the internet. Among its many breakthrough achievements, his company sent the first email message that used the @ symbol, in 1972.
from The New York Times article “Leo Beranek, Acoustics Designer and Internet Pioneer, Dies at 102” by Glenn Rifkin, The New York Times, 2016-10-17.