• 1936 February 28
    (b.) -
    2009 August 28


An American businessman, political fundraiser and former US Ambassador to Ireland, he was born in Milton, Massachusetts. His family moved to Dorchester and he attended public schools in Boston. He served in the Marine Corps for two years during the end of the Korean War. He then entered Northeastern University and graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Northeastern's Egan Engineering and Science Research Center was later named in his honor. He earned a Master of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and later joined MIT's Draper Laboratory as part of the team that developed the Apollo Guidance Computer, which provided real-time control for the Apollo spacecraft that carried astronauts to the moon. He also worked with Lockheed Aircraft and Intel Corp. in developing technology. He and his friend and college roommate, Roger Marino co-founded EMC Corporation in 1979. The two initially sold office furniture in order to raise money to build the company with only a handful of employees. EMC eventually became Massachusetts' largest technology company, and as of 2009 had more than 40,000 employees. EMC, introduced their first 64-kilobyte memory boards for the Prime Computer in 1981, and continued with the development of memory boards for other computer types. In the mid 1980?s, the company expanded beyond memory to other computer data storage types and networked storage platforms. The company started to ship its flagship product, the Symmetrix in 1990. Over the past decade, EMC has added disk storage arrays for small and medium-sized businesses to its portfolio of products, including the Clariion line of arrays, which EMC acquired along with Data General in 1999. More recently, it has shifted its business direction to include software and services, though it remains the world's largest distributor of external data storage systems. He served as EMC's CEO until 1992 and as Chairman of the Board until his retirement as Chairman Emeritus on January 17, 2001. When he retired, he accepted an appointment by President George W. Bush to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. He held the post from August 2001 to December 2002, much of the time in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In 1994, Inc. Magazine named him "Master Entrepreneur of the Year." He also received the Medal of Honor Society's Patriot Award, the Jewish National Fund's Tree of Life Award and was one of Irish America Magazine's "Top 100". He was a leader in numerous educational, business and technology groups, serving as Director of the Massachusetts High Technology Council and Business Roundtable, Director of the New York Stock Exchange Advisory Board, and founder of the Hopkinton Technology for Education Foundation in Hopkinton, Mass., where EMC is based. He donated part of his fortune to the Boy Scouts of America as well as health and education groups. He played a critical role in the creation of the Maureen and Richard J Egan Engineering Science Research Center at Northeastern University, his alma mater. He also started an engineering center in Israel to help develop the company?s products and was credited with greatly improving Israel?s technology infrastructure. In its 2005 list of the Forbes 400, he was ranked as the 258th richest American, with a net worth of approximately $1.3 billion. A long-time resident of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, he committed suicide at his Boston residence on August 28, 2009 at the age of 73 while suffering from Stage IV terminal lung cancer. According to his family, he also suffered from emphysema and diabetes. He is survived by his wife, Maureen, and their five children.
  • Date of Birth:

    1936 February 28
  • Date of Death:

    2009 August 28
  • Noted For:

    Member of the team that developed the Apollo Guidance Computer for the Apollo spacecraft that carried astronauts to the moon
  • Category of Achievement:

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