Lee DeForest    

  Excerpt from WikiPedia (page opens in new browser window)
Lee de Forest (August 26, 1873 June 30, 1961) was an American inventor,
self-described "Father of Radio", and a pioneer in the development of
sound-on-film recording used for motion pictures. He had over 180 patents,
but also a tumultuous career. He boasted that he made, then lost, four fortunes.

He was also involved in several major patent lawsuits, spent a substantial part
of his income on legal bills, and was even tried (and acquitted) for mail fraud.

His most famous invention, in 1906, was the three-element "Audion" (triode)
vacuum tube, the first practical amplification device. Although De Forest had
only a limited understanding of how it worked, it was the foundation of the field
of electronics, making possible radio broadcasting, long distance telephone
lines and talking motion pictures, among countless other applications.



  • Charter member, in 1912, of the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE).
  • Received the 1922 IRE Medal of Honor, in "recognition for his invention of the three-electrode amplifier and his other contributions to radio."
  • Awarded the 1923 Franklin Institute Elliott Cresson Medal for "inventions embodied in the Audion."
  • Received the 1946 American Institute of Electrical Engineers Edison Medal, "For the profound technical and social consequences of the grid-controlled vacuum tube which he had introduced."
  • Honorary Academy Award Oscar presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1960, in recognition of "his pioneering inventions which brought sound to the motion picture."
  • Honored February 8, 1960 with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • DeVry University was originally named the De Forest Training School by its founder Dr. Herman A. DeVry, who was a friend and colleague of DeForest.

  Video From the TV show "This is your Life" 1957

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