John Burdette Gage was the 21st employee of Sun Microsystems, where he is credited with creating the phrase "the network is the computer." He served as Chief Researcher and Vice President of the Science Office for Sun, until leaving on June 9, 2008 to join Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a partner to work on green technologies for global warming; he departed KPCB in 2010 to apply what he had learned "to broader issues in other parts of the world". He is also best known as one of the co-founders of NetDay in 1995.
Gage received his bachelor's degree in 1975 from the University of California, Berkeley. He also attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the Harvard Business School. While at Berkeley, he was a three-time All-American swimmer. He was a leader in the anti-war movement and was a delegate for Robert Kennedy in 1968 for the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, representing Berkeley and Alameda County, California. He co-chaired the Robert Kennedy campaign in Alameda County. Gage had worked at Berkeley with Bill Joy, the person largely responsible for the authorship of Berkeley UNIX, also known as BSD, from which springs many modern forms of UNIX, including Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD.Gage joined Sun Microsystems in 1982 with Bill Joy and others.
In 1968, and again in 1970, he was a co-organizer of Vietnam Moratorium, anti-Vietnam War events in Boston and Washington, DC. In November, 1969, he produced the final show of the Rolling Stones 1969 tour, the Palm Beach International Music and Arts Festival, with Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, ShaNaNa, Jefferson Airplane, Wavy Gravy, and a cast of thousands. He co-produced the August 6, 1970 12-hour Festival for Peace in Shea Stadium, New York, with Peter Yarrow, Creedence Clearwater, Janis Joplin, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Winter, Miles Davis, Poco, Sha-Na-Na, Steppenwolf, Richie Havens, PG&E, John Sebastian, the Staple Singers, Joan Baez, the lighting and staging of Peter Fields and the sound systems of Bill Hanley. Bill Graham's Fillmore East provided on-stage support, along with the Hog Farm.