Don DeLillo's America came online on February 3, 1996. I created the site for two reasons: I couldn't find much of anything about DeLillo on the web at that time, and I wanted to learn html. At that time I was using Lynx, a text-only browser, which meant that I kept the design very simple. I have heard from a few appreciative visitors who couldn't read the site but have software to read the text aloud, so the design will stay as it is.
For a long time this site was the #1 Google site for 'DeLillo', but in late 2006 the Wikipedia entry on DeLillo took over that slot.
In 2008 I did an interview with Dr. Noel King concentrating on the origins of this website. It's now finally online, and probably will tell you more than you really wanted to know!
BTW, If you want to see how the site looked back in 1997, try this link. Courtesy of the Way Back Machine. For the first few years the site was hosted at haas.berkeley.edu.
Here's the self-referential media watch from the early years:
A link from the fabulous suck appeared on 27 August 1996. suck died by sometime in 1999.
Salon linked to the page in a story on the reappearance of Pynchon and Salinger ('Catcher Out of the Rye' by Dwight Garner) on 20 January 1997.
Yahoo! finally provided a link on January 29, 1997.
The Village Voice ran a capsule review in the February 25, 1997 issue, Best of the Net section (p. 31). Here's what Ed Park had to say:
"I knew who I was on the network of meaning," says Jack Gladney in Don DeLillo's White Noise. At this one-year-old site, DeLillo enthusiasts can situate this reclusive novelist. The site is a trove of biographical and publication info, intelligently organized and illuminated with cover art. Indeed, prolonged exposure makes one think of a DeLillo novel writ small: interview excerpts stand in for the stark pleasures of his writing, and one's obsessive pursuit of information uncannily mirrors a signature D.D. character trait. Lost, engrossed, perhaps slightly crazed, the visitor may come to decide, like the J.F.K.-hit historian in Libra, that "it is essential to master the data."
In March 1997 The New York Times web page included a DeLillo section which has a link back here and a few discussion forums on his work (but you need to register with them to get to it - free).
Salon ran an article on the home pages of the literary stars ('Media Circus' by Dwight Garner) on 23 May 1997.
The November 1997 issue of Harpers magazine includes an article by Vince Passaro entitled "The Unsparing Vision of Don DeLillo," which includes mention of Don DeLillo's America.
The Washington Post featured an article on DeLillo entitled by David Streitfield (Nov. 11, 1997, p. D1). This site is called "quite a good one".
The Boston Globe ran an article entitled "Authors in their Sites" on May 14, 2001 by Mark Feeney, which focuses on the creators of three author websites, including this one.