Famous American Electrical Engineers

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.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American Electrical Engineers

 1 
Thomas Edison
(Inventor of Phonograph & Motion Picture Camera)

Thomas Edison
28
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.

 2 
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.

 3 
Claude Shannon
(Known as a "Father of Information Theory")

Claude Shannon
8
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.

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 4 
John Bardeen
(Engineer and Physicist)

John Bardeen
3
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.

 5 
Amar Bose
(The Founder of 'Bose Corporation')

Amar Bose
10
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. 

 6 
Grant Imahara
(Electrical engineer)

Grant Imahara
11
Birthdate: October 23, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

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.

 7 
Jack Kilby
(Inventor of integrated circuit)

Jack Kilby
5
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.

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 8 
Edwin Howard Armstrong
(Electrical engineer)

Edwin Howard Armstrong
5
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.

 9 
Charles F. Kettering
(Inventor, Engineer & Businessman)

Charles F. Kettering
7
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 
Elon Musk
(CEO of Tesla)

Elon Musk
24
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.

 11 
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
(Mathematician, Electrical engineer, Engineer, Scientist, Inventor)

Charles Proteus Steinmetz
5
Birthdate: April 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: October 26, 1923

 12 
Loni Love
(Comedian)

Loni Love
13
Birthdate: July 12, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, USA

Loni Love is an American comedian, actress, television host, and author. Love won the prestigious Daytime Emmy Award under the Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host category in 2018 for her work in the popular syndicated talk show, The Real. A former electrical engineer, Loni Love has worked in popular companies like Xerox Holdings Corporation and General Motors.

 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 
Seymour Cray
(Engineer, Computer scientist)

Seymour Cray
5
Birthdate: September 28, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chippewa Falls
Died: October 5, 1996

 15 
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.

 16 
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.

 17 
Thomas Massie
(Inventor)

Thomas Massie
3
Birthdate: January 13, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Huntington, West Virginia, United States

Conservative libertarian Republican Thomas Massie is the US Representative from Kentucky's 4th district. Born to a beer distributor, he studied mechanical engineering at MIT and also co-owned a start-up. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he earned Donald Trump’s ire when he opposed a stimulus package to boost the American economy.

 18 
Ginni Rometty
(Businesswomen)

Ginni Rometty
7
Birthdate: July 29, 1957
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty was named to the World's Top 50 Women in Tech by Forbes in 2018. She led IBM through its conversion to a leading data company. The Northwestern University alumna has also earned the Edison Achievement Award. She became part of Time 100 in 2012.

 19 
Charles K. Kao
(Electrical Engineer)

Charles K. Kao
3
Birthdate: November 4, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: September 23, 2018

Nobel Prize-winning Chinese physicist Charles K. Kao is best remembered for his discovery of how light is transmitted through fibre-optic cables. Named the Godfather of Broadband, he was also knighted by the U.K. Following his diagnosis of Alzheimer disease, he co-founded the Charles K. Kao Foundation for Alzheimer’s Disease.

 20 
Ray Tomlinson
(Inventor of the First Email System)

Ray Tomlinson
3
Birthdate: April 23, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amsterdam, New York, U.S.
Died: March 5, 2016

 21 
J. Presper Eckert
(Electrical engineer)

J. Presper Eckert
3
Birthdate: April 9, 1919
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 3, 1995

 22 

Douglas Engelbart
3
Birthdate: January 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: July 2, 2013

 23 
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.

 24 

Bruce McCandless II
3
Birthdate: June 8, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 21, 2017

 25 
Ellen Ochoa
(Engineer)

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 

Frank J. Sprague
2
Birthdate: July 25, 1857
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Milford
Died: October 25, 1934

 27 
Ray Dolby
(Engineer)

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 
Edith Clarke
(Electrical Engineer)

Edith Clarke
4
Birthdate: February 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Howard County
Died: October 29, 1959

 29 
Will Packer
(Film producer)

Will Packer
3
Birthdate: April 11, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Florida

 30 
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.

 31 
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.

 32 
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.

 33 

Charles F. Brush
2
Birthdate: March 17, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Euclid, Ohio, United States
Died: June 15, 1929

 34 
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.

 35 
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

 36 
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.

 37 
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

 38 
Steven Sasson
(Engineer)

Steven Sasson
3
Birthdate: July 4, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn

 39 

Frederick Emmons Terman
3
Birthdate: June 7, 1900
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: English, Indiana, United States
Died: December 19, 1982

 40 
Nick Holonyak
(Engineer)

Nick Holonyak
3
Birthdate: November 3, 1928
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zeigler, Illinois, United States

 41 
Madman Muntz
(Businessperson)

Madman Muntz
2
Birthdate: January 3, 1914
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Elgin, Illinois, United States
Died: June 21, 1987

 42 

Jessica Fridrich
2
Birthdate: 1964 AD
Birthplace: Ostrava, Czech Republic

 43 

C. L. Max Nikias
2
Birthdate: September 30, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cyprus

 44 
Robert H. Dennard
(Electrical Engineer)

Robert H. Dennard
4
Birthdate: September 5, 1932
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Terrell, Texas, United States

 45 
Arthur Nielsen
(Market-research executive)

Arthur Nielsen
2
Birthdate: September 5, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Died: June 1, 1980

 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 
Harold Rosen
(Engineer)

Harold Rosen
1
Birthdate: March 20, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: January 30, 2017

 48 
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

 49 
Julius Edgar Lilienfeld
(Physicist, Engineer)

Julius Edgar Lilienfeld
0
Birthdate: April 18, 1882
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lviv, Ukraine
Died: August 28, 1963

 50 
Arthur E. Kennelly
(Electrical engineer)

Arthur E. Kennelly
1
Birthdate: December 17, 1861
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Colaba, India
Died: June 18, 1939