The August 2018 issue of Significance Magazine includes a retrospective feature on the R language. (I suggest reading the PDF version, also available for free access.) The article by Nick Thieme looks back at the 25 years since the R language was first conceived at Auckland University in 1992. It follows the history of R through the first public announcement in 1993, its first release as open source software in 1995, the formation of the R Core Group and the launch of CRAN in 1997, and the release of R version 1.0.0 on February 29, 2000.
The article includes comments from many of the major players in the R project and from the R community, including Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman (R's creators), Peter Dalgaard, Hadley Wickham, Julia Silge, Gabriela de Queiroz. The article is a great overview of the R phenomenon, its applications, and community, and you can read the entire article at the link below.