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Fessenden, Reginald Aubrey (06 October 1866–22 July 1932), inventor, was born in East Bolton, Quebec, Canada, the son of Elisha Joseph Fessenden, an Anglican clergyman, and Clementina Trenholme. Fessenden spent his earliest years at Bolton Centre, Quebec, and Fergus, Ontario. From a young age he showed a keen interest in invention and science and filled every free moment with the reading of scientific texts, being encouraged in this pursuit by his uncle, Cortez Fessenden, a teacher of science and mathematics. At the age of seven Fessenden read Gibbon’s ...


David Sarnoff. Photograph by Louis Fabian Bachrach, c. 1939–1941. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-92231).


Sarnoff, David (27 February 1891–12 December 1971), media executive, was born in Uzlian in the Russian province of Minsk, the son of Abraham Sarnoff, a trader and house painter, and Leah Privin, a seamstress. When David was five, his father left for the United States and he was sent to live with an uncle. When his father sent money for his passage five years later, David rejoined the family and traveled to Canada in steerage, landing in Montreal and entering the United States by train in 1900. The Sarnoffs settled in the Lower East Side of New York City, and David entered school but also helped support the family by running errands for a local butcher, delivering newspapers, and singing soprano in a synagogue. He also studied at the Educational Alliance, quickly learning English. When he was fifteen his father died, and David left school for good; while he later received many honorary degrees, his formal education ended with eighth grade....


Storm, Hans Otto (29 July 1895–11 December 1941), writer and radio telegraph engineer, was born in Bloomington, California, the son of Joachim Otto Storm, a bank teller, and Marie Rehwoldt. His parents both came from Germany and met in the United States. Storm grew up in Anaheim, California. After graduating from public high school, he worked for a year in the electrician’s trade. In 1917 he was conscripted into the army, but he spent most of the war in hospitals on account of illness. Afterward Storm was frequently ill, and he was never robust....