• 1916 July 06
    (b.) -
    2008 May 03


An American scientist and engineer who helped develop the microwatt bipolar junction transistor in 1951, which was a critical step in making transistors usable for every-day electronics, he was born in Pagosa Springs, Colorado; and grew up in Texas. He became an undergraduate at Rice University, and did his PhD work in physical chemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana graduating in 1943. In 1948, he went to work at AT&T Bell Labs where John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley were developing the first transistor. He stayed at AT&T Bell Labs and worked there to develop the microwatt bipolar junction transistor which helped make transistors practical enough for common use. Junction transistors began replacing vacuum tubes in electronic devices such as portable radios. Soon, transistors became essential in electronic computers and their production grew monumentally after the emergence of the microchip in the 1960s. After nearly 30 years at AT&T Bell Labs, he accepted a post as the Director of Sandia National Laboratories, one of the United States' most eminent research labs, where he served from 1972 to 1981. Sandia is a key supplier of research and development projects for the American nuclear defense regime under the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Date of Birth:

    1916 July 06
  • Date of Death:

    2008 May 03
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    Co-inventor of the microwatt bipolar junction transistor, a semiconductor device that led to devices such as personal computers, cell phones and DVD players
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