Emmit McHenry was born in Forrest City, Arkansas, on July 12, 1943, the grandson of a minister. Growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, McHenry attended Stewart Elementary School, Carver Middle School, and Booker T. Washington High School. After graduating in 1962, he went on to receive his B.S. in communications from the University of Denver in 1966. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he attained the rank of lieutenant. McHenry would go on to Northwestern University, where in 1979 he earned his M.S. degree in communications and completed the qualifying examinations for a Ph.D.
In 1979, Emmit McHenry and a few associates start an engineering company name Network Solutions. For 16 years, he and his partners toiled away and built a solid company. They could not get money from the financial institutions so they mortgage their properties and max out their credit cards. They were good engineers and got many contracts but the gem within Network Solutions was a contract with the National Science Foundation, which was to create the U.S. Government’s and World first domain name addressing system for the Internet. This was back when the Internet was just a government project, and its commercial potential hadn’t been realized.
Emmit McHenry created a complex computer code whereby ordinary people can now surf the web or have e-mails without having to study computer science. He created what we know today simply as .com. Black Inventor Emmit McHenry Invents the .com (dot com).
Emmit McHenry and his partners were ahead in the technology game, but Blacks Business people refuse to join him.
On Dec. 31, 1992, Network Solutions got the contract that would make the company a legacy. After the government reviews several company proposals, The National Science Foundation Department selected Network Solution as manager of domain names registration service for the Internet.
The contract was for $1 million a year for five years. Network Solution had the sole authority to develop and issue Internet system for Web addresses. What Network Solution developed was .com, .net, .edu, and. gov. to communicate on the Internet.
At the time Network Solutions already was handling other sensitive engineering projects for the government. To keep up with the demands the company needed to hire more workers and buy new equipment, but the fixed $1 million a year contract proved to be a constrained because no matter how many names the company registered, it could not charge more. Over the years the demand for domain names increase and the company staff grew to 400 employees. Emmit applied to the government to charge directly for the domain names as the request for names continued to increase by the thousands. The government refuses and continues to pay the company $1 million a year for as many requested domain names.
Emmit went to wealthy high profile Blacks and they all refuse to invest in his company. He tried the financial institute and Wall Street and they also said no. He got some help from a white fellow engineer but it was not enough. In the meantime, the government keeps insisting if he could not keep up with the volume they will break the contract.
In 1995 Emmit sold Network Solutions to Science Applications International Corp or SAIC for 4.8 million plus personal and business debt. In a few months, the government gives SAIC the rights to charge $70.00 per year for each domain name plus a royalty on any other created domain names, the same request Emmit wanted. With millions of people and companies requesting domain names, there was a bidding war to buy this new cash cow SAIC acquired. A Wall Street Company name VeriSign Inc. was the winner. SAIC flip the newly purchase 4.8 million company to VeriSign Inc for $21 Billion within a year.
Today Emmit J. McHenry is the founder, chairman, and CEO of NetCom Solutions International, Inc. McHenry held various management positions with IBM, Connecticut General, Union Mutual and Allstate Insurance Company. He served on several insurance industry committees and was a founding member of the American Productivity Management Association. He then founded Network Solutions, Inc. the internet domain services provider, and in 1995, he founded NetCom Solutions International, telecommunications, engineering, consulting, and technical services company. The company has received awards for excellent service from IBM, NASA and Lucent Technologies with revenues of $260 million and over 200 employees in Chantilly, Virginia and Oklahoma City.
Today, McHenry serves as chairman of VisuTel, a broadband telecommunications company. McHenry is on the executive committee of the Council on Competitiveness, the board of directors for NetCom Solutions International, Ltd. (UK), and chairs the governance committee for the Phelps Stokes Fund. He is on the advisory board of DECIS Technology and is the former chairman of the board of LearnCity, Inc. McHenry has also served on the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the State of Virginia Economic Development Authority and the board of directors for James Martin Government Intelligence. He has also chaired the board of directors of NeCom Solutions South Africa.