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Dennis C. Hayes
Fascinating facts about Dennis C. Hayes inventor of the PC Modem in 1977.

Dennis C. Hayes invented the PC modem in 1977, establishing the critical technology that allowed today's online and Internet industries to emerge and grow.

He sold the first Hayes modem products to computer hobbyists in April of 1977 and founded D.C. Hayes Associates, Inc., the company known today as Hayes Corp., in January of 1978. Hayes quality and innovation resulted in performance enhancements and cost reductions that led the industry in the conversion from leased line modems to intelligent dial modems - the PC Modem.

When he started the company, Hayes already had more than ten years experience working with large and small computer systems, telecommunications, manufacturing and electronic product development. While attending the Georgia Institute of Technology, Hayes participated in a co-op program working for AT&T Long Lines. Later, he joined Financial Data Sciences where he worked on systems using the first four-bit microprocessor. After concluding his studies at Georgia Tech, Hayes worked for National Data Corporation where he developed microcomputer-based systems to interconnect networks. Hayes attended the School of Management and Strategic Studies at the Western Behavior Sciences Institute.

D.C. Hayes Associates was founded on a dining room table in Hayes' home, where he started with a modest $5000 investment and boot-strapped the company to become the leader in the industry. The first products were modem boards for the S-100 bus and then for the Apple II computers. Solving the interface problems to allow any computer using a standard serial port to control the modem functions with software, he invented the Hayes Standard AT command set introducing the first PC modem in June 1981.

The Hayes Smartmodem quickly became the standard by which modem compatibility was measured and the company grew rapidly. In more than twenty years as Chairman of Hayes, he led the company as a visionary who saw the opportunity for the development of PC communications and the virtual workplace.

After successfully guiding the company through a merger that resulted in a new, publicly-owned Hayes Corporation, Dennis C. Hayes retired as Chairman in late1998 to pursue other industry interests, among these his chairmanship of the Association of Online Professionals.

A native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Hayes is also active in other community and industry associations. He served as a founder and Co Chair of the Public Policy Committee of CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, Founding Chairman of the Georgia High Tech Alliance, and founding Board Member of the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology. Hayes is one of four initial inductees into Georgia's Technology Hall of Fame. He currently is Chairman of the Association of Online Professionals, which merged with the US Internet Industry Association, where he is an officer and owner of the Whiskey Rock bar in suburban Atlanta.


Invention of hte PC Modem  from The Great Idea Finder

Zoom Telephonics, Inc.
This company acquired most of the modem assets of Hayes Corporation.
CRN Industry Hall Of Fame

As USIIA chairman, Hayes advocates effective Internet policy, a role born from his invention of the PC modem in the late 1970s. CMP article by Michele Pepe.
Hayes Compatible
There was a time when Hayes compatible meant something.


  • 1978 -- Dennis C. Hayes and partner Dale Heatherington, working on Hayes’ dining room table, develop first personal-computer modem and formed a company.
  • 1985 -- Hayes annual sales hit $120 million as popularity of home computers grows.
  • 1988 -- Hayes and first wife Melita divorce after six years of marriage.
  • 1994 -- Hayes Microcomputer files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
  • 1996 -- Company emerges from Chapter 11.
  • 1997 -- Company merges with Access Beyond of Gaithersburg, Md.
  • 1998 -- Hayes Corp. files for Chapter 11.
  • 1999 -- January 6, Hayes shuts down Its operations.
  • 1999 -- April. 7, Zoom Telephonics Acquires Hayes Modem Assets Source: Hayes Corp


Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised January 24, 2006.

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