The first "official" version of R, version 1.0.0, was released on February 29, 200. But the R Project had already been underway for several years before then. Sharing this tweet, from yesterday, from R Core member Peter Dalgaard:
— Peter Dalgaard (@pdalgd) August 16, 2017
Twenty years ago, on August 16 1997, the R Core Group was formed. Before that date, the committers to R were the projects' founders Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman, along with Luke Tierney, Heiner Schwarte and Paul Murrell. The email above was the invitation for Kurt Kornik, Peter Dalgaard and Thomas Lumley to join as well. With the sole exception of Schwarte, all of the above remain members of the R Core Group, which has since expanded to 21 members. These are the volunteers that implement the R language and its base packages, document, build, test and release it, and manage all the infrastructure that makes that possible.
Thank you to all the R Core Group members, past and present!