Martin Cooper is an engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, and futurist. He is known as the “father of the cell phone.” He led the creation of the world’s first cell phone at Motorola—and made the first public call on it. Over nearly three decades at Motorola, Cooper contributed to the development of pagers, two-way radio dispatch systems, quartz crystal manufacture, and more.
A serial entrepreneur, he and his wife, Arlene Harris, have cofounded numerous wireless technology companies. This includes Cellular Business Systems, SOS Wireless Communications, GreatCall, and ArrayComm. Cooper is currently chairman of Dyna LLC and a member of the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council. He was the first to observe the Law of Spectrum Capacity, which became known as Cooper’s Law.
In 2013, Cooper became a member of the National Academy of Engineering from whom he received the Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering. He was awarded the Marconi Prize “for being a wireless visionary who reshaped the concept of mobile communication.” He has been inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame and Wireless History Foundation’s Wireless Hall of Fame. The Radio Club of America awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. He is a lifetime member of the IEEE, was president of its Vehicular Technology Society and received its Centennial Medal. In 2007, Time magazine named him one of the “100 Best Inventors in History.” He is a Prince of Asturias Laureate.
Cooper grew up in Chicago, the son of Ukrainian immigrants. He attended Crane Technical High School and the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he is a Life Trustee. He served in the US navy as a submarine officer during the Korean Conflict.
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