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Kilby, Jack St. Clairlocked

(08 November 1923–20 June 2005)
  • Bruce J. Evensen


Kilby, Jack St. Clair (08 November 1923–20 June 2005), Nobel Prize-winning inventor of the microchip, Nobel Prize–winning inventor of the microchip, was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, the son of Hubert Kilby, an electrical engineer, and Vina Freitag. When Jack was four years old the family moved to Salina, Kansas, where his father worked for the Kansas Power Company. By sixth grade the family relocated again to Great Bend, Kansas, on the Arkansas River, where his father became president of Kansas Power, overseeing power distribution in the western third of the state. Jack spent his summers cleaning out oil tanks and steam generators. After an ice storm in April 1938 his father used a ham radio to keep up with the company's distant customers. Amateur radio appealed to Jack and sparked an interest in electronics. He became a Depression-era ham radio operator at call letters W9GTY....

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