• 1911 July 14
    (b.) -
    2006 August 21


He was the pioneering CEO of Control Data Corporation, at one time one of the most powerful and respected computer companies in the world. He is famous for taking on IBM in a head-on fight and winning, as well as being a social activist who used Control Data's expansion in the late 1960s to bring jobs and training to inner-cities and disadvantaged communities. Norris entered the computer business just after World War II, when his team of US Navy cryptographers formed Engineering Research Associates to build scientific computers. ERA was fairly successful in these early days, but in the early 1950s a lengthy series of government probes into "Navy funding" drained the company and they sold out to Remington Rand. They operated within Remington Rand as a separate division for a time, but during the later merger with Sperry Corporation that formed Sperry Rand, their division was merged with UNIVAC. This resulted in most of ERA's work being dropped, and a number of employees decamped and set up Control Data, unanimously selecting Norris as president. Control Data started by selling magnetic drum memory systems to other computer manufacturers, but introduced their own mainframe, the CDC 1604, in 1958. Designed primarily by Seymour Cray, the company soon followed it with a series of increasingly powerful machines. In 1965 they introduced the CDC 6600, the first supercomputer, and CDC was suddenly in the leadership position with a machine ten times as fast as anything else on the market.
  • Date of Birth:

    1911 July 14
  • Date of Death:

    2006 August 21
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    Founder of Control Data Corporation
  • Category of Achievement:

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