Title and Description Page
Early Years 1
Family background. Childhood in Huntington, West Virginia. Impressions of school. Early interest in chemistry as demonstrated by experiments. Visit to 1939 World’s Fair in New York City cements desire to be scientist. Conservative Judaism. Work in parents’ delicatessen. Father’s early death and mother’s remarriage.
College and Graduate School Years 7
Youthful matriculation at Johns Hopkins University. Ira Remsen’s reputation’s influence. Business manager of several organizations. Likes physical chemistry and physics. Worked summers on nerve gas and mustard gas. Always saw himself working in industry. Persuaded by Clark Bricker, just leaving for faculty position at Princeton University, to accept research assistantship in Bricker’s lab. Spectroscopy work cemented love of physical chemistry. Became interested in electronics. Married Charlotte Silver. Took exams his first year and moved into Walter Kauzmann’s lab. Used Bridgman method to grow crystals. DuPont and Proctor Fellowships. PhD granted in 1952.
Early Years at Bell Laboratories 27
Visited and loved Bell Laboratories. William Shockley’s group. Floating zone technique. Oxygen impurities in crystals. Invention of silicon transistor. Ernest Buehler and the need to grow silicon crystals. Worked with Calvin Fuller to develop gaseous diffusion silicon transistor. Semiconductor group at Bell Labs. Organization of departments and hierarchy. Exciting environment of openness, sharing with other brilliant individuals. Patents and cross-licensing. Masers, lasers. Refuses Shockley’s offer to join his company. Interest in superconductivity. Talks about colleagues Gene Kunzler, Bernd Matthias, Rudolf Kompfner, Carl Frosch. Superconducting magnets. Disappointment at Bell’s ceding of leadership in silicon transistor field. Watching integrated circuits invented and developed elsewhere.
Promotion Years 84
Becomes Director, Solid-State Development Laboratory and heads the solid-state development laboratory in the Electronic Components Division. Interest in solid-state lasers. Telstar. Moves to Western Electric. Strives to reduce gap between new technology and the manufacturing process itself. Cutting diamond dies become first use of lasers in manufacturing. Recruits PhD’s in chemistry, chemical engineering, and physics to invent and develop new manufacturing technology. Extrusion of plastics. Importance of communication. Becomes Vice President, Engineering Division, Western Electric. Gradual change from technology into business aspects of company. Introduces concept of case analysis. Becomes Vice President of Manufacturing Transmission Equipment. Competition from International Telephone and Telegraph, especially in digital transmission equipment. Increases and improves marketing. Builds smaller and more flexible plants. Satellite communications business forbidden to AT&T, given to Comsat.
Back to Bell 117
Returns as Executive Vice President of Systems Engineering and Development. Metallization failures in field. Integrated circuits make digital switches possible; used first for toll switches, finally for local.
Engineering and Network Services at AT&T 121
After eleven months accepts job as Vice President of Engineering and Network Services at AT&T. Top technology post in company; very exciting. Staff mostly technical people, many from Bell Labs. Transition to digital and then to optical transmission, supported by lasers and semiconductors. Reflects on development of semiconductors and contribution of chemists.
Career Transition to New Jersey Bell Telephone Company 130
Becomes President of New Jersey Bell. NJ Bell largest employer in state except for government. Relations with Governor Kean. Main responsibilities consist of marketing and community relations.
AT&T Years 134
Leaves NJ Bell to become Executive Vice President of AT&T Corporate Staff. Discussion of political responsibilities. Antitrust suit. Dealings with U.S. Congress. Acts as technical consultant for final Consent Decree. AT&T permitted long-distance operations only. Western Electric stays with AT&T. Establishment of Bellcore (Bell Communications Research). After official reorganization becomes CEO and Chairman of AT&T Communications. Hectic, stressful years. After two years becomes Vice Chairman for Finance and CFO of AT&T Corporation. New organization and hierarchy. Difficulties and responsibilities include distance from operating part of business; regulatory problems; financial responsibilities; developing new, foreign markets; diversification into non-telecommunications activities.
Retirement Years 145
Knows retirement is near when he stops “having fun.” Continues as trustee of Johns Hopkins University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Becomes member of Science Advisory Committee of General Motors. Serves on a number of corporate boards of technically-oriented companies. Responsibilities of trustees. National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering. National Academy of Engineering. National Research Council. Helps establish New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.