AOL has its roots in the short-lived venture Control Video Corporation (CVC), which was founded by Bill von Meister. CVC was an online game service for Atari 2600 (video game console).
In 1985 Jim Kimsey founded the online services company Quantum Computer Services from the remnants of CVC.
Quantum changes its name to America Online in 1989.
During the 1990’s, the company experienced explosive growth when the general public discovered the internet and started to explore chat rooms, online role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, and AOL messenger. At its height in 1997, half of all American households that had internet, had it through AOL.
In 2000 AOL merged with Time Warner, creating the new company AOL Time Warner.
Today AOL is no longer part of Time Warner since it was spun-off to shareholders in 2009. The company serves users through popular sites TheHuffingtonPost.com, MapQuest, Moviephone, Patch (local information), Engadget and TechCrunch.
AOL trades publicly on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol AOL, is a member of the S&P 400, is #882 in the Fortune 1000, has 4,500 employees, and had $2.53 billion in revenue in 2014.