Stephen Wilhite, the inventor of the short-video format the GIF, has died of Covid aged 74.

His wife, Kathaleen, confirmed he died on March 14 of the virus. 

The couple lived in Milford, Ohio. 

Wilhite invented the GIF in 1987 while working in CompuServe and won a Webby lifetime achievement award in 2013 for his creation. 

The GIF is still a popular video format used across many social media and internet sites. 

He told the New York Times in 2013:  “I saw the format I wanted in my head and then I started programming."

He also said the first image was an airplane and insisted that the word was pronounced with a soft “G,” like Jif peanut butter.

Anyone using a hard “G,” “are wrong,” he said. “End of story.”

His wife Kathaleen said: “There’s way more to him than inventing GIF".

She also said after his retirement in 2001 “he never stopped programming."