How could I not include a link to the Request For Comment file for the HTML 2.0 specification? So there it is. It was originally proposed by Tim Berners-Lee and Daniel Connolly in November 1995. They also wrote the original Draft for HTML, subtitled "A Representation of Textual Information and MetaInformation for Retrieval and Interchange". This document dates from June 1993! For more documents on the origins of HTML, check out this document at the W3C: HTML 2.0 Materials.