1951, U.S. student slang, probably an alteration of 1940s slang nert "stupid or crazy person," itself an alteration of nut. The word turns up in a Dr. Seuss book from 1950 ("If I Ran the Zoo"), which may have contributed to its rise.
: Norton represents a new type of American rich person: the nerd tycoon/ a mix between journalism and nerd heaven, with its sophisticated desktop equipment and absence of paper
[probably fr the 1950 children's book If I Ran the Zoo, by ''Dr. Seuss,'' where a nerd is one of the desired animals]