Famous American Electrical Engineers

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Agreed, a mechanic is the best friend anyone can have. But with cars now evolving into a hi-tech mobile entertainment unit, replete with new-age push-button ignition, built-in GPS, rear camera and MP3-synced audio, it’s time to include an electrical engineer in your roster of friends list. An electrical engineer can untangle your wires and put you in the right course, which makes them indispensable in anyone's list. However, the craze for electrical engineers is nothing new. The electrical engineers have always played a crucial role in the development of human civilization. The difference in world history before and after harnessing of electrical energy is stark. Today, there is practically no work possible without electricity. This shows how important and indispensable electrical engineers are to us. So what are you waiting for? Without any ado, explore the timeline, trivia, and interesting facts on America's most laud-worthy electrical engineers in the biography below.
Vote for Your Favourite American Electrical Engineers
 1 
Alexander Graham Bell
(Inventor of Telephone & Co-Founder of 'American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T)')
Alexander Graham Bell
10
Birthdate: March 3, 1847
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: August 2, 1922

Alexander Graham Bell was a scientist, inventor, and engineer. He is credited with inventing the first functional telephone. He is also credited with co-founding America's major telephone company AT&T, which has been going strong since 1885. Bell's later life was marked by his groundbreaking work in aeronautics, hydrofoils, and optical telecommunications. He was also an ardent supporter of compulsory sterilization.

 2 
Thomas Edison
(Inventor of Phonograph, Motion Picture Camera and Early Version of the Electric Light Bulb)
Thomas Edison
34
Birthdate: February 11, 1847
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Milan, Ohio, United States
Died: October 18, 1931

Described as America’s greatest inventor, Thomas Edison’s legacy is an everlasting one. He was the first to help make the incandescent light bulb commercially viable, even though he was not the first inventor of it. Quadruplex telegraph, phonograph, motion picture camera and the alkaline storage battery are some the many innovations that made him a worldwide phenomenon and an icon.

 3 
Nikola Tesla
(Inventor, Engineer & Futurist, Who Obtained Over 300 Patents)
Nikola Tesla
17
Birthdate: July 10, 1856
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Smiljan, Croatia
Died: January 7, 1943

Inventor, engineer and futurist, Nikola Tesla, is best remembered for his contribution to the development of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. A prolific inventor, he had around 300 patents for his inventions. Even though he earned a considerable amount of money, he had poor money management skills and died a poor man.

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 4 
Claude Shannon
(Mathematician, Engineer & Cryptographer Known as a 'Father of Information Theory')
Claude Shannon
10
Birthdate: April 30, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Petoskey, Michigan, United States
Died: February 24, 2001

Claude Shannon was an electrical engineer, mathematician, and cryptographer. He is credited with publishing the article A Mathematical Theory of Communication which gave rise to the field of information theory. Hence, Shannon is considered the father of information theory. He is also credited with founding digital circuit design theory. During World War II, he contributed to the field of cryptanalysis.

 5 
John Bardeen
(American Physicist, Engineer and the Only Person to Win the Nobel Prize in Physics Twice)
John Bardeen
5
Birthdate: May 23, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Died: January 30, 1991

American engineer, physicist and Nobel laureate John Bardeen is the only person who received the Nobel Prize in Physics twice. He shared the first Nobel with William Shockley and Walter Brattain in 1956 for inventing the transistor, and the second with Leon N Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer in 1972 for proposing the BCS theory, a microscopic theory of superconductivity.

 6 
Jack Kilby
(Inventor of integrated circuit)
Jack Kilby
7
Birthdate: November 8, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jefferson City
Died: June 20, 2005

Nobel Prize-winning engineer Jack Kilby is best remembered for his contribution to the development of the integrated circuit. Born to an electrical engineer, he had his first brush with gadgets as an amateur radio operator. Initially a Texas Instruments employee, he later also taught at the Texas A&M University.

 7 
Amar Bose
(The Founder of 'Bose Corporation')
Amar Bose
12
Birthdate: November 2, 1929
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 12, 2013

Amar Bose was an American academic, entrepreneur, sound engineer, and electrical engineer. Bose served as a professor at MIT for more than 45 years. He is also credited with founding a manufacturing company called Bose Corporation where he served as the chairman. In 2008, Amar Bose was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. 

 8 
Grant Imahara
(Known for His Work on the Television Series 'Mythbusters', on Which He Designed and Built Numerous Robots)
Grant Imahara
11
Birthdate: October 23, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: July 13, 2020

Grant Masaru Imahara, a Japanese-American electrical engineer, roboticist, television host and actor, began his career at Lucasfilm, where he got involved with several big budget films including Star War franchise. Later, he joined MythBusters as a member of Build Tea and was well-known for his contribution in it. His other important works include White Rabbit Project, BattleBots, Star Trek Continues etc.

 9 
Charles F. Kettering
(Inventor, Engineer & Businessman)
Charles F. Kettering
9
Birthdate: August 29, 1876
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Loudonville, Ohio
Died: November 25, 1958

Charles F. Kettering was an American engineer, inventor, and businessman. Kettering is credited with founding Delco Electronics Corporation. Holder of 186 patents, Kettering is also credited with the invention of Freon refrigerant for air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Over the course of his career, Charles F. Kettering won prestigious awards like the IEEE Edison Medal, Hoover Medal, and Franklin Medal. 

 10 
Edwin Howard Armstrong
(American Electrical Engineer and Inventor, Who Developed FM Radio and the Superheterodyne Receiver System)
Edwin Howard Armstrong
7
Birthdate: December 18, 1890
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chelsea, New York, United States
Died: February 1, 1954

Edwin Howard Armstrong was an American inventor and electrical engineer. He is credited with developing the superheterodyne receiver system as well as the frequency modulation (FM) radio. During his illustrious career, Armstrong received several awards including the IEEE Medal of Honor, Franklin Medal, and Edison Medal. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1980.

 11 
Seymour Cray
(Engineer, Computer scientist)
Seymour Cray
5
Birthdate: September 28, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chippewa Falls
Died: October 5, 1996
 12 
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
(German Mathematician and Engineer Whose Research on AC Systems Revolutionized the US Electric Industry)
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
9
Birthdate: April 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: October 26, 1923

Though German-born American mathematician and engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz suffered from a deformed back since childhood, he excelled in math, physics, and classical literature. His ideas on alternating current (AC) systems initiated the electrical era in the US. By the time he died, he had over 200 patents under his name.

 13 
William Edwards Deming
(Statistician, Electrical Engineer)
William Edwards Deming
6
Birthdate: October 14, 1900
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sioux City
Died: December 20, 1993

Born to a lawyer, William Edwards Deming grew up to become a renowned mathematical physicist and later taught statistics at the New York University. His research focused on the application of statistical methods to improve quality control in various industries. His ideas were later widely used by Japanese corporates.

 14 
Eugene Cernan
(American Naval Aviator Who Became the Eleventh Human Being to Walk on the Moon)
Eugene Cernan
4
Birthdate: March 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 16, 2017

Eugene Cernan was an American naval aviator, astronaut, aeronautical engineer, electrical engineer, and fighter pilot. As of 2022, Cernan remains the last man to walk on the Moon, which he did in 1972 as part of the Apollo 17 mission. In 2007, Eugene Cernan was made an inductee of the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.

 15 
Elon Musk
(CEO of Tesla)
Elon Musk
32
Birthdate: June 28, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa

Entrepreneur, engineer and industrial designer, Elon Musk, is famous as founder of the electronic payment firm PayPal, and the SpaceX spacecraft company. He is also the CEO of Tesla Motors. Elon Musk has plans to revolutionize transportation on earth as well as to space through futuristic technology.

 16 
Lisa Su
(Entrepreneur)
Lisa Su
9
Birthdate: November 7, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tainan, Taiwan

Born in Taiwan, Lisa Su, the CEO of AMD, moved to the US at age 3. Lisa eventually earned a PhD in electrical engineering from MIT. Named to the Forbes America’s Self-Made Women 2020 list, she is also the first woman recipient of the IEEE Robert Noyce Medal.

 17 
Judith Resnik
(Engineer)
Judith Resnik
8
Birthdate: April 5, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States
Died: January 28, 1986

Judith Resnik was an American software engineer, electrical engineer, pilot, biomedical engineer, and NASA astronaut. She was the fourth woman and the first Jewish woman in space, logging 145 hours in orbit. Resnik, who died during the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986, received several posthumous honors. Judith Resnik’s life and career inspired the 1990 TV movie Challenger.

 18 
Ray Tomlinson
(Inventor of the First Email System)
Ray Tomlinson
5
Birthdate: April 23, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amsterdam, New York, U.S.
Died: March 5, 2016
 19 
Douglas Engelbart
3
Birthdate: January 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: July 2, 2013
 20 
Harry Nyquist
(Physicist, Computer scientist, Engineer, Statistician, Mathematician)
Harry Nyquist
5
Birthdate: February 7, 1889
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kil Municipality
Died: April 4, 1976

Harry Nyquist was a Swedish electronic engineer and physicist best remembered for his contributions to communication theory. His work earned him many prestigious awards such as the IRE Medal of Honor, the Stuart Ballantine Medal, and the Rufus Oldenburger Medal. Harry Nyquist is also remembered for his association with Bell Telephone Laboratories.

 21 
Bruce McCandless II
(The First Person to Complete an Untethered Spacewalk)
Bruce McCandless II
5
Birthdate: June 8, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 21, 2017

US Navy officer, aviator, and NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless II was the first person to complete an untethered spacewalk. He also contributed to the development of the Manned Maneuvering Unit. Post-retirement, he became a research scientist. He once sued singer Dido for using one of his space flight photos as an album cover.

 22 
Martin Eberhard
(Entrepreneur)
Martin Eberhard
8
Birthdate: May 15, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States

Martin Eberhard is an American entrepreneur, inventor, and engineer. He is credited with co-founding Tesla, Inc. in 2002. He then served as the company's chairman and CEO. Martin Eberhard was inducted into the University of Illinois Engineering Hall of Fame in 2015.

 23 
Frank J. Sprague
2
Birthdate: July 25, 1857
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Milford
Died: October 25, 1934
 24 
J. Presper Eckert
(Electrical engineer)
J. Presper Eckert
7
Birthdate: April 9, 1919
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 3, 1995
 25 
Ellen Ochoa
(The First Hispanic Woman to Go to Space)
Ellen Ochoa
8
Birthdate: May 10, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ellen Ochoa is an American engineer and classical flautist. A former astronaut, Ochoa was the first Hispanic woman in space. In 2012, she became the first Hispanic director of Johnson Space Center. Ochoa has won several prestigious awards including NASA's Distinguished Service Medal and Space Flight Medals. In 2017, she was inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.

 26 
Edith Clarke
(Electrical Engineer)
Edith Clarke
4
Birthdate: February 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Howard County
Died: October 29, 1959
 27 
Ray Dolby
(American Engineer, Inventor of the Noise Reduction System and Founder of 'Dolby Laboratories')
Ray Dolby
3
Birthdate: January 18, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: September 12, 2013

A Stanford engineer and a Cambridge PhD, Ray Dolby had first experimented with electronic gadgets while working part-time for Ampex in his teenage years. The Dolby Laboratories founder later pioneered the surround sound technology in movies and the noise-reduction system in tapes. His honors include an Emmy and two Academy Awards.

 28 
Jensen Huang
(Entrepreneur)
Jensen Huang
9
Birthdate: February 17, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tainan, Taiwan

Jensen Huang is a Taiwanese-American electrical engineer and businessman. He is credited with co-founding an American multinational technology company named Nvidia Corporation where he currently serves as president and CEO. Jensen Huang is also known for his philanthropic efforts; he donated US$30 million to Stanford University and $2 million to Oneida Baptist Institute.

 29 
Will Packer
(Film producer)
Will Packer
5
Birthdate: April 11, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Florida
 30 
Granville Woods
(Inventor)
Granville Woods
5
Birthdate: April 23, 1856
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: January 30, 1910

Granville Woods was 10 when he began working at a machine shop, while continuing his studies at a night school. He grew up to become a steam locomotive engineer and earned the nickname the Black Edison for his countless inventions, most of which were related to electrical systems for railways.

 31 
Charles F. Brush
2
Birthdate: March 17, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Euclid, Ohio, United States
Died: June 15, 1929
 32 
Lynn Conway
(Transgender Activist & Computer Scientist Who Initiated The Mead-Conway VLSI Chip Design Revolution)
Lynn Conway
3
Birthdate: January 2, 1938
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States
 33 
Vladimir K. Zworykin
(Inventor of 'Television Transmitting and Receiving System Employing Cathode Ray Tubes')
Vladimir K. Zworykin
3
Birthdate: July 29, 1888
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Murom, Russia
Died: July 29, 1982

Often referred to as the Father of the Television, Russian-American engineer Vladimir K. Zworykin is remembered for inventing the kinescope picture tube, also known as the cathode-ray tube, used in the television. He was associated with the Radio Corporation of America, and his other creations included the iconoscope camera.

 34 
An Wang
(Co-founder of Wang Laboratories)
An Wang
3
Birthdate: February 7, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shanghai, China,
Died: March 24, 1990

Born in Shanghai, An Wang studied electrical engineering before moving to Harvard to get his PhD. The Wang Laboratories co-founder is remembered for inventing the magnetic core memory, which was the main component of computers till the invention of the microchip. He also developed many word-processing systems.

 35 
Steven Sasson
(Engineer)
Steven Sasson
3
Birthdate: July 4, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn
 36 
Peter Cooper Hewitt
(Electrical Engineer)
Peter Cooper Hewitt
2
Birthdate: May 5, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: August 25, 1921
 37 
Frederick Emmons Terman
3
Birthdate: June 7, 1900
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: English, Indiana, United States
Died: December 19, 1982
 38 
Nick Holonyak
(Engineer)
Nick Holonyak
3
Birthdate: November 3, 1928
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zeigler, Illinois, United States
 39 
Madman Muntz
(Businessperson)
Madman Muntz
2
Birthdate: January 3, 1914
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Elgin, Illinois, United States
Died: June 21, 1987
 40 
C. L. Max Nikias
2
Birthdate: September 30, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cyprus
 41 
Jessica Fridrich
2
Birthdate: 1964 AD
Birthplace: Ostrava, Czech Republic
 42 
Karl Guthe Jansky
(American Physicist, Radio Engineer and One of the Founding Figures of 'Radio Astronomy')
Karl Guthe Jansky
2
Birthdate: October 22, 1905
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Norman, Oklahoma, United States
Died: February 14, 1950

Karl Guthe Jansky was an American physicist and radio engineer. He first discovered radio waves emanating from the Milky Way in August 1931. However, due to his lack of formal training as an astronomer, research into radio astronomy remained dormant for many years. Later on, he came to be widely regarded as one of the founding figures of radio astronomy. 

 43 
Arthur Nielsen
(Market-research executive)
Arthur Nielsen
2
Birthdate: September 5, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Died: June 1, 1980
 44 
Robert Michael White
(Electrical Engineer)
Robert Michael White
2
Birthdate: July 6, 1924
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: March 17, 2010
 45 
Robert H. Dennard
(Electrical Engineer)
Robert H. Dennard
4
Birthdate: September 5, 1932
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Terrell, Texas, United States
 46 
Solomon W. Golomb
(Mathematician)
Solomon W. Golomb
2
Birthdate: May 30, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: May 1, 2016
 47 
Julius Edgar Lilienfeld
(Physicist, Engineer)
Julius Edgar Lilienfeld
0
Birthdate: April 18, 1882
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lviv, Ukraine
Died: August 28, 1963
 48 
Harold Rosen
(Engineer)
Harold Rosen
1
Birthdate: March 20, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: January 30, 2017
 49 
Arthur E. Kennelly
(Electrical engineer)
Arthur E. Kennelly
1
Birthdate: December 17, 1861
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Colaba, India
Died: June 18, 1939
 50 
Ivan A. Getting
(American Physicist and Electrical Engineer Known for the Development of the Global Positioning System (GPS))
Ivan A. Getting
2
Birthdate: January 18, 1912
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: October 11, 2003

Ivan A. Getting was an American electrical engineer and physicist. He is credited with the development of GPS which is currently being used around the world. Getting, who played a significant role during the Second World War, received several prestigious awards during his illustrious career. In 2004, Ivan A. Getting was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.