Bob Galvin

National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Electronics

For advancement of the American electronics industry through continuous technological innovation, establishing Motorola as a world-class electronics manufacturer.

For advancement of the American electronics industry through continuous technological innovation, establishing Motorola as a world-class electronics manufacturer.

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Birth
October 9, 1922
Age Awarded
69
Country of Birth
USA
Key Contributions
Motorola
Implementing Six-Sigma
Awarded by
George H. W. Bush
Education
University of Notre Dame
University of Chicago
Areas of Impact
Communication & Information
Affiliations
Motorola, Inc.
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Robert W. Galvin took the reins of Motorola from his father and transformed a family-run business that pioneered Depression-era car radios and wartime walkie-talkies into a global producer of color television sets, cellphones and radios, among many other electronic items we rely on daily. During the three decades Galvin served as president, annual sales leaped from $290 million to $10.8 billion.

“If it’s intuitive, it’s probably wrong,” Galvin is quoted as saying. “The absolutely distinguishing quality of a leader is that a leader takes us elsewhere.” Galvin’s foresight was behind a company that forged trends in radio, television and integrated circuits for computers, and sent communication devices to Mars aboard Viking probes and to the Moon on manned rockets.

Under Galvin’s leadership, Motorola produced the first hand-held mobile phone in 1973.  Throughout his career, Galvin made crucial investments in cellular R&D, never wavering in his belief that cellular technology would revolutionize the way people communicated. And he was right.

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