On April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper, Motorola Systems Manager, made the first call from a cell phone to a landline. Martin Cooper used the Motorola DynaTAC prototype to call and surprise Joel Engel, Bell company executive. This call opened a new paradigm in the world of communications. Today, 40 years later, new functionalities and smartphones are changing the user experience and the ways in which we live and work.
Martin Cooper is a pioneer in the wireless communications industry; an inventor, entrepreneur and futurist. He has been a contributor to the technology of personal wireless communications for over 50 years. He conceived the first portable cellular phone in 1973. Cooper knew then that people needed the freedom that comes from anywhere, anytime telephony in contrast to being tethered to a desk or a car. He has been referred to as the ‘father’ of portable cellular telephony and is recognized as an innovator in spectrum management.
Cooper was a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. Following his military service, he became a division manager and head of R&D for Motorola during a 29-year tenure. As a serial entrepreneur, Cooper has started a number of businesses including co-founding GreatCall, Inc., maker of the Jitterbug phone and service and ArrayComm, the world leader in smart antenna technology.
Cooper was an inaugural member of the Wireless History Foundation (WHF) Wireless Hall of Fame. Red Herring magazine named him one of the Top 10 Entrepreneurs of 2000, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Business named him a Transformation Technology Change Leader and he is a recipient of the IEEE Centennial Medal. In 2010, Cooper was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering and was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Science and Technology. In February 2013, Cooper was co-recipient of the Charles Stark Draper Prize; one of the world’s preeminent awards for engineering achievement. In September 2013, Cooper was awarded the coveted Marconi Prize.
Cooper holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and an honorary doctorate from the Illinois Institute of Technology on whose board of Trustees he serves.