Martin Cooper is a pioneer in the wireless communications industry; an inventor, entrepreneur and futurist. He has been a contributor to the technology of personal wireless communications for over 50 years. He conceived the first portable cellular phone in 1973. Cooper knew then that people needed the freedom that comes from anywhere, anytime telephony in contrast to being tethered to a desk or a car. He has been referred to as the ‘father’ of portable cellular telephony and is recognized as an innovator in spectrum management.
Cooper was a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. Following military service, he became a division manager and head of R&D for Motorola over his 29-year tenure at the Company. As a serial entrepreneur, Cooper has started a number of businesses including co-founding GreatCall, Inc., maker of the Jitterbug phone and service, ArrayComm, the world leader in smart antenna technology and Dyna LLC, a business incubator, where he currently serves as Chairman.
Cooper was an inaugural member of the Wireless History Foundation (WHF) Wireless Hall of Fame. Red Herring magazine named him one of the Top 10 Entrepreneurs of 2000, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Business named him a Transformation Technology Change Leader and he is a recipient of the IEEE Centennial Medal. In 2010, Cooper was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering and was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Science and Technology. In February 2013, Cooper was co-recipient of the Charles Stark Draper Prize; one of the world’s preeminent awards for engineering achievement. In September 2013, Cooper was awarded the coveted Marconi Prize and in January 2015, the IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award.
Cooper holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology on whose board of Trustees he serves. He also holds an honorary doctorate from IIT and from Hasselt University in Belgium.