• 1929 October 18
    (b.) - ?


A physicist, silicon pioneer, and member of the so-called "traitorous eight" that founded Silicon Valley, he was born in Butler, Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Optics from the University of Rochester in 1951 and his Ph.D. in Physics from MIT in 1956. He worked at the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory division of Beckman Instruments from 1956 to 1957. He left Shockley in 1957, along with the rest of what Shockley termed the "traitorous eight" to form Fairchild Semiconductor Corp., where he was Head of Integrated Circuit Development. Fairchild produced the first planar silicon diffused transistors and helped establish Silicon Valley as a center for techno logical innovation and entrepreneurialism. He left Fairchild in 1961 and co-founded Amelco Corporation with "traitorous eight" alumni Jean Hoerni and Sheldon Roberts, where he served as Director of Research and Development. In 1966, Amelco was acquired by Teledyne Technologies, where he was Vice President of Research and Development for eight years. He appeared on the PBS documentary series American Experience in the episode titled "Silicon Valley", which debuted on February 6, 2013. The show focused on the eight pioneering innovators who defected from Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory to start Fairchild Semiconductor, and turned Santa Clara County, California, into the center of technological ingenuity. In the program, he also talked about the day that William Shockley showed up in his laboratory at MIT and offered him a job at his company. Regarding Shockley's arrival, he said, "I thought, my God, I've never met anybody this brilliant. I changed my whole career plans and said I want to go to California and work with this man." In May, 2011, at age 81, he and others from the "traitorous eight" received the ?Legends of California Award? from the California Historical Society. Prior to the award ceremony, he said he was not scared about his risky departure from Shockley, explaining, "When you are in your late 20s you don?t know enough to be scared, we just did it. We just knew what we had to do and we did it." Also, in 1999, he received the Hutchison Medal from the University of Rochester. He received the 2005 Maurice Rickards Award from the Ephemera Society of America for his important contributions to the field of ephemera studies. In 2007, he received the Newman Award for the outstanding book of the year for The Color Explosion. He has authored or co-authored a number of art books. In 1989, he founded The Archaeological Conservancy, which has preserved and protected over 150 archeological sites in 28 U.S. states. From 1982 to 2010, he was President of California-based Hillcrest Press, which publishes fine art books on the history of American painting.
  • Date of Birth:

    1929 October 18
  • Noted For:

    Member of the so-called "traitorous eight" that founded Silicon Valley
  • Category of Achievement:

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