Python was created by Guido van Rossum at CWI was originally developed for the Amoeba platform. Amoeba is a distributed operating system developed by Andrew S. Tanenbaum and others at the Vrije University.
Van Rossum being Python’s principal author, continues to be in central role deciding the direction of Python. He is conferred a title benevolent dictator for life (BDFL) by the Python community.
Python 1.0 was released in January 1994. The major new features included in this release were the functional programming tools lambda, map, filter and reduce, which Guido Van Rossum never liked.
Python 2.0 was released on 16 October 2000, and included many major new features including a full garbage collector and support for Unicode. With this release the development process was changed and became more transparent and community-backed.
Python 3.0 (also called Python 3000 or py3k), a major, backwards-incompatible release, was released on 3 December 2008 after a long period of testing. Many of its major features have been backported to the backwards-compatible Python 2.6 and 2.7.