Not this guy, apparently. Writes Gizmodo: "Shiva Ayyadurai didn't invent email—he created "EMAIL," an electronic mail system implemented at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey. It's doubtful he realized it as a little teen, but laying claim to the name of a product that's the generic term for a universal technology gives you acres of weasel room. But creating a type of airplane named AIRPLANE doesn't make you Wilbur Wright."
Interestingly, 1978, the year Mr. Ayyadurai claims to have invented email, was also the year a young Gary Turk sent the first piece of spam.