CHF Adds KYOCERA Founder Dr. Kazuo Inamori to Oral History Library in 4 Traders

Dr. Kazuo Inamori

April 18, 2012 - Philadelphia, PA

by Jay Scovie

The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) has completed its extensive oral history of Dr. Kazuo Inamori, a pioneer in the field of engineered ceramics who, at 80, is regarded as one of Japan’s most respected living entrepreneurs.

The institution’s renowned Oral History Program compiles interviews with leaders in the fields of science and industry as a means to record the personal experiences of those who have improved our world.

Inamori founded the Kyoto Ceramic Co. (now Kyocera Corporation) in 1959 and spent decades developing new applications for engineered ceramics—in everything from early TVs to semiconductors, Japan’s bullet train, IBM computers and the NASA space program. His leadership philosophy guided him in establishing Japan’s No.2 telecommunications carrier, DDI (now KDDI) in 1984, and in accepting a volunteer assignment in 2010 to lead the bankruptcy turnaround of Japan Airlines, which is succeeding ahead of schedule.

“CHF was eager to add Dr. Kazuo Inamori’s oral history to our collection—not only because of his original work in developing ceramics for the semiconductor industry, but also because of his unique approach to leadership,” said Tom Tritton, CHF president. “In his various roles as an entrepreneur, inventor, management innovator and philanthropist, as well as his devotion to high ethical standards in dealing with co-workers, collaborators and competitors, Kazuo Inamori has shown how one determined, talented individual can improve the lives of millions.”

CHF recorded about 10 hours of conversations in which Inamori talked about technology, the philosophy of leadership, his entrepreneurial ventures and his commitment to philanthropy and ethical principles. . . .

Inamori’s accomplishments also influenced the decision by CHF’s selection committee to present him with its Othmer Gold Medal in 2011. In receiving this award, Inamori joined an esteemed group of innovators that also includes Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel; James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA; George Whitesides, a pioneer in several areas of chemistry and nanotechnology; Jon Huntsman Sr., a groundbreaking contributor to the modern chemicals industry; and Arnold Beckman, who played a pivotal role in the birth of Silicon Valley.

CHF has accumulated nearly 500 oral histories exploring a wide range of scientific and technological achievements that range from chemistry to biotechnology. Besides the oral histories of 21 Nobel laureates, CHF has also collected the life stories of more than 50 key figures in the world of semiconductors—among them such important innovator/entrepreneurs as Intel’s Moore and Andrew Grove, as well as Fairchild’s Jay Last and Julius Blank. . . .

Link to 4 Traders

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