Wilhite invented the file in 1987 because of the slow internet, intended to send multiple images quickly. “He thought of everything in his head and then he programmed it on the computer,” his wife told The Verge. The first GIF, as far as he could remember, was a moving picture of a planeWilhite told in 2012 aan The Daily Dot.
The inventor was working at the company CompuServe in the 1980s, when the GIF file was conceived. In 2000 he retired. 25 years after his invention, his work and contribution to internet culture were recognized with a Webby Award.