In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the top 5 African American men who have had a significant impact on the technology industry.
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Robert Taylor- one of the original architects of the internet
Robert Taylor was one of the original architects of the internet. He directed the construction of the ARPANET which led to today’s Internet. He is also credited with creating one of the first computer networks for sharing resources between different users.
Philip Emeagwali- a mathematician and computer scientist who helped develop the first supercomputer
Philip Emeagwali is a mathematician and computer scientist who helped develop the first supercomputer. He is also known for his work in oil field services, weather forecasting, and climate modeling. Emeagwali was born in Nigeria and later moved to the United States to pursue his education. After receiving his doctorate from the University of Michigan, he became a professor at George Washington University. Emeagwali has won numerous awards for his work in computer science, including the Gordon Bell Prize and the Millennium Prize.
Mark Dean- one of the original designers of the IBM personal computer
Mark Dean is one of the original designers of the IBM personal computer. He is also credited with helping to develop the ISA bus, which is a standard bus used in many personal computers. In addition, Dean has held more than 20 patents during his career.
Frederick Terman- considered the “father” of Silicon Valley
Frederick Terman is considered the “father” of Silicon Valley. He is credited with the idea of clustering high-tech companies in the area in order to spur economic growth. He also encouraged companies to spin off new businesses, which helped create the ecosystem that Silicon Valley is now known for.
Garrett A. Morgan- inventor of the traffic light and gas mask
Garrett Augustus Morgan was an African American inventor and businessman, most notably known for his invention of the traffic light and the gas mask. He was born in Paris, Kentucky on March 4, 1877 to Syrian and African American parents who were former slaves. Not much is known about his early childhood or education, but he later moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where he found work as a sewing machine repairman. In 1895, Morgan married Ada Mae Johnson and the couple had two daughters together.
In 1907, Morgan invented the traffic signal after seeing a car accident happen right in front of him at an intersection. The following year, he patented his invention and sold the rights to General Electric for $40,000. His traffic light not only helped to regulate traffic flow and prevent accidents, but also proved to be an important tool in law enforcement.
In 1911, Morgan was working in a textile factory when he witnessed another serious accident. A number of workers were overcome by noxious gases and Morgan rushed to help them using a wet towel over his nose and mouth as protection. Inspired by this experience, he created a gas mask that could filter out harmful fumes and gases. He later sold the rights to his gas mask design to the US Army for $1 million.
Morgan continued to invent new products throughout his lifetime including a hair-straightening cream (which became popular among African American women) and a smokehood (a device worn over the head to protect against smoke inhalation). He died on August 27, 1963 at the age of 86.