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Fascinating facts about Jack Kilby inventor of Integrated Circuits in 1958 and the Hand-held Calculator in 1966.. JACK KILBY
Inventor: Jack St. Clair Kilby
Jack Kilby photo courtesy Texas Instruments
Criteria: First to invent. First to patent. Modern prototype.
Birth: November 8 1923 in Jefferson City, Missouri
Death: June 20, 2005 in Dallas, Texas
Nationality: American
There are few living men whose insights and professional accomplishments have changed the world. Jack Kilby is one of these men. His invention of the monolithic integrated circuit - the microchip - some 40 years ago at Texas Instruments (TI) laid the conceptual and technical foundation for the entire field of modern microelectronics. It was this breakthrough that made possible the sophisticated high-speed computers and large-capacity semiconductor memories of today's information age.

Born November 8 1923 in Jefferson City, Missouri, Mr. Kilby grew up in Great Bend, Kansas. With B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the Universities of Illinois and Wisconsin respectively, he began his career in 1947 with the Centralab Division of Globe Union Inc. in Milwaukee, developing ceramic-base, silk-screen circuits for consumer electronic products.

In 1958, he joined TI in Dallas. During the summer of that year working with borrowed and improvised equipment, he conceived and built the first electronic circuit in which all of the components, both active and passive, were fabricated in a single piece of semiconductor material half the size of a paper clip. The successful laboratory demonstration of that first simple microchip on September 12, 1958, made history.

Jack Kilby went on to pioneer military, industrial, and commercial applications of microchip technology. He headed teams that built both the first military system and the first computer incorporating integrated circuits. He later co-invented both the hand-held calculator and the thermal printer that was used in portable data terminals.

In 1970, he took a leave of absence from TI to work as an independent inventor. He explored, among other subjects, the use of silicon technology for generating electrical power from sunlight. From 1978 to 1984, he held the position of Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University.

Mr. Kilby officially retired from TI in the 1980s, but he has maintained a significant involvement with the company that continues to this day. In addition, he still consults, travels, and serves as a director on a few boards.

From Jack Kilby's first simple circuit has grown a worldwide integrated circuit market whose sales in 2000 totaled $177 billion. These components supported a 2000 worldwide electronic end-equipment market of nearly $1,150 billion. Such is the power of one idea to change the world.

Jack Kilby is the recipient of two of the nation's most prestigious honors in science and engineering. In 1970, in a White House ceremony, he received the National Medal of Science. In 1982, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, taking his place alongside Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and the Wright Brothers in the annals of American innovation.

Jack St. Clair Kilby passed away June 20, 2005, in Dallas following a brief battle with cancer.


Invention of the Hand-held Calculator  from The Great Idea Finder
Invention of the Integrated Circuit  
from The Great Idea Finder
History of Computing 
from The Great Idea Finder
Nobel Prize Inventors   from The Great Idea Finder

100 Inventions That Shaped World History
by Bill Yenne, Morton, Dr. Grosser (Editor) / Paperback - 112 pages (1983)
/ Bluewood Books 
This book contains inventions from all around the world from microchips to fire. This is a really good book if you are going to do research on inventions.
Crystal Fire: The Birth of the Information Age
by Michael Riordan, Lillian Hoddeson / Hardcover: 352 pages / W.W. Norton & Company (1997)

This book is very well written, and does a good job of telling the history of the invention of the transistor. The book focuses on the technological aspects of the invention, but also does a great job of telling the story of the personalities, and (now multi-million dollar) businesses that were involved with the invention.
The Chip: How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution
by T. R. Reid / Paperback - 288 pages (October 9, 2001) / Random House (Paper)
Reid has thoroughly updated The Chip, his 1985 exploration of the life work of inventors Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce, to reflect the colossal shift toward smarter gadgets that has taken place since then.
Strange Stories, Amazing Facts ( This title is out of print. )
by Readers Digest Editors / Hardcover - 608 pages (1976) / Readers Digest Association
Man's amazing inventions only covers 32 pages.

Those Inventive Americans ( This title is out of print. )
by National Gographic Society / Hardcover - 231 pages (1971) / NGS-Special Pub. Division

History of the Integrated Circuit
The Chip that Jack Built Changed the World
'National Inventors Hall of Fame
Inducted 1982 for his invention Miniaturized Electronic Circuits Integrated Circuit. Patent Number 3,138,743

The 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics
Jack S. Kilby is being rewarded for his part in the invention and development of the integrated circuit, the chip.

The Two Brains
"Jack Kilby's work spawned the microelectronics revolution that has changed
forever the way we live, work, and communicate."
Humble giant'
Hailed for inventing integrated circuit  It would be hard to pick him out as one of the most important men of this century. But Jack Kilby is. CNN Sci-Tech artical by Charles Zewe.
The Computer Society
In 1958, Jack St. Clair Kilby conceived and proved his idea of integrating a transistor with resistors and capacitors on a single semiconductor chip, which is a monolithic IC.
Inventor of the Week
Invention Dimension featured Jack Kilby in September, 1996 for his invention of the Microchip.

About Jack - Texas Instruments
Jack St. Clair Kilby passed away June 20, 2005, in Dallas, Texas following a brief battle with cancer.
In 2000, Jack Kilby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit.


  • In 2000, Jack Kilby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit.
  • "Jack Kilby's work spawned the microelectronics revolution that has changed
    forever the way we live, work, and communicate."
  • Mr. Kilby holds over 60 U.S. patents.
  • He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).
  • He has been awarded the Franklin Institute's Stuart Ballantine Medal, the NAE's Vladimir Zworykin Award, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' Holley Medal, the IEEE's Medal of Honor, the Charles Stark Draper Prize administered by the NAE, the Cledo Brunetti Award, and the David Sarnoff Award.
  • On the 30th anniversary of the invention of the integrated circuit, the Governor of Texas dedicated an official Texas historical marker near the site of the TI laboratory where Mr. Kilby did his work.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised October 12, 2006.

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