Frederick Terman

While William Shockley often gets most of the credit, Fred Terman could also be considered one of the founders of Silicon Valley. Just before World War II, Terman decided to dedicate some of the unused land on the Stanford campus in Palo Alto to an industrial park, the first university-owned industrial park in the world. He encouraged two of his graduate students, William Hewlett and David Packard, to form a company and house it on campus. (Hewlett-Packard's first customer was Walt Disney, who needed electronic equipment to record the sound for the film Fantasia.) Other companies moved nearby and by the end of the war, the Stanford Industrial Park was thriving. In 1956, when he heard that Shockley was starting up a new business and that it would pioneer the new field of semiconductors, Terman did everything he could to lure Shockley to Palo Alto.  Terman also helped Shockley find some of the bright young men first hired. 

Terman's father, Lewis, was the developer of the IQ test, and a leading researcher into intelligence and the gifted. Terman attended Stanford for his undergraduate degree in chemistry and master's degree in electrical engineering, before finishing his Ph.D. at MIT in 1924.   He then moved back to Stanford where he began to teach electrical engineering.  His time at Stanford stretched into 40 years as he moved from professor to dean to provost to acting president.  Many of his gifted students went on to play key roles in the development of Silicon Valley. His industrial park is still the biggest and most successful in the world, in many ways the womb of Silicon Valley.

On December 19, 1982, Terman died at the age of 82. 

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