Robert Norton Noyce was popularly known as the “Mayor of Silicon Valley”. He has made enormous contributions in the field of microelectronics. He built the first practical microchip. He co-founded the technology giant Intel Corporation (along with Gordon Moore) in the year 1968. He held 16 patents.
Robert Norton Noyce was born on December 12, 1927 in Burlington, Iowa. His father was a congregational clergyman. His mother was an intelligent woman with a commanding will. Robert Norton Noyce grew up in Grinnell, Iowa. He was very good in mathematics and science during his schooling days.
Robert Norton Noyce graduated from Grinnell High School in the year 1945. He earned the nickname “Rapid Robert” due to his extraordinary mental abilities. In the year 1949, he graduated with a BA in physics and mathematics from the Grinnell College. He received his doctorate in physics from the reputed Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the year 1953.
After earning his doctorate, he worked as a research engineer at the Philco Corporation. In the year 1956 he joined the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory in Mountain View, California; but quit the organization in the year 1957 as he was not happy with the way things were managed.
Robert Norton Noyce co-founded the Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation in the year 1957. The company is considered to be a pioneer in transistor and integrated circuit manufacturing. He co-founded Intel in the year 1968. His “roll up your sleeves” management style at Intel was a great success. Robert Norton Noyce was instrumental in the development of the first microprocessor.
During his long and fruitful career, Robert Norton Noyce received many prestigious awards. He won the Franklin Institute’s Stuart Ballantine Medal in the year 1966. He was awarded the National Medal of Technology in the year 1987. He was inducted into the US Business Hall of Fame in the year 1989. These were just a few among the many honors he received during his lifetime.
Robert Norton Noyce married Elizabeth “Betty” Bottomley in the year 1953. The couple had four children. He married Ann Schmeltz Bowers in the year 1974. Robert Norton Noyce died on June 3, 1990 at the Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas. The Noyce Foundation was founded in the year 1991 by his family members. This foundation is dedicated to improving public education.
Robert Norton Noyce was a visionary, who was born to inspire people around him. He was a great leader. He treated his employees like his family members. He rewarded employers who performed well and encouraged team work at all levels. He motivated people to give their best. Robert Norton Noyce is no more with us physically, but his life continues to inspire people all over the world.