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Martin  Cooper

Martin Cooper

Father of the Cell Phone, Inventor, Futurist & Entrepreneur


Martin Cooper is a visionary, inventor and entrepreneur who conceived of the first portable cellular telephone handset in 1973 and led the team that developed and introduced it. He is known as the “father of the handheld cellular phone." Time Magazine called him “One of the top 100 inventors in history." Read More >

Cooper is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering from which he received the Charles Draper Award. He is a Marconi Prize recipient, a Prince of Asturias Laureate and a Life Member and centennial medal awardee of the IEEE. He presently serves on the FCC Technology Advisory Council.

Cooper’s teams introduced the first nationwide dial car telephone system, the first nationwide paging system, the digitally-trunked land mobile dispatch system that was introduced concomitantly with the cellular service, and other communications innovations. Among his 11 patents is a cellular radiotelephone system optimized for portable communications.

He co-founded several companies including Cellular Business Systems, Inc., which created the management systems for most carriers in the early days of cellular telephone service, ArrayComm Inc., a leader in smart antenna technology, and GreatCall, Inc., innovator of the Jitterbug phone and has served as a board member of public and private companies.

Cooper has been widely published in the wireless field. He formulated the Law of Spectral Efficiency (Cooper's Law).

He is an alumnus and life trustee of the Illinois Instituter of Technology. He received honorary doctorates from Strathclyde University in Scotland, Inha University in Korea, Hasselt University in Belgium and IIT.

His book Cutting the Cord: How the Cell Phone Transformed Humanity was an Amazon Best Seller.

He has appeared on 60 Minutes with Morley Safer, and on the CBS Sunday Morning Show with David Pogue.

In his career, he has met with country leaders Mikhail Gorbachev (Russia), Tony Blair (UK), John Howard (Australia), Hu Jintao (China), and King Phillipe (Spain). Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

The Father of the Cellphone

On Making His First Public Call | CBS Sunday Morning

Meet the Inventor of the First Cell Phone

Changing Life as We Know It With the Cell Phone | Chicago Ideas

Speech Topics

Cutting the Cord: How The Cell Phone Has Transformed Humanity