Larry Roberts was an integral part of the formation of ARPANet as one of it’s chief designers, and was also the first to connect two computers to one another via dedicated phone lines, proving that such connections were possible. After receiving a PhD from MIT , he heard the inspiring words of J.C.R. Licklider at a conference and was enamored with the idea of computer networks.
At the time he was working at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, and in 1965 a connection was proposed from Lincoln’s TX-2 computer to System Development’s Q-32 in Santa Monica. ARPA agrees to this and Lincoln appoints Roberts supervisor. The link is established over a four wire Western Union telephone line, allowing the machines to send messages to one another. Later ARPA would recruit Roberts to head it’s computer networking program, and he becomes one of Arpanet’s greatest advocates and primary architects, leading to the first multiple computer network.