Robert Norton Noyce is known as a remarkable man. His friends often called him as Rapid Robert because he had a quick mind. Aside from that, he also conveys the nickname Mayor of Silicon Valley. He was really an active person. He really enjoyed flying the airplane of his own, reading Hemingway, scuba diving and hand gliding. He was a diver champion. He also believes that the microelectronics beyond the current state would continue to spread its sophistication and complexity
Robert Norton Noyce’s Early Life
He was born in Burlington, Iowa on December 12th, 1927. He grows up in the towns of Iowa, mainly in Grinnell. Robert Norton Noyce was Rev. Ralph Brewster’s youngest among the three sons with Donald as the eldest born in the year 1923 and before him Gaylord born in the year 1926. His father graduated from various institutions including Oberlin College, Doane College, and Chicago Theological Seminary and became the Congregational Christian Conference of Iowa’s Associate Superintendent in 1930’s and 1940’s. Robert’s mother is Harriet May Norton and was a graduate of Oberlin College just like his father. Prior to their marriage, she dreamed to become a missionary. She often described as an intelligent woman that has commanding will and with innate sense in budgeting.
Robert Noyce belongs to a family with a deep Midwestern root with a tradition of serving as ministers and teachers. Robert’s father was William Bradford’s (1590-1657) descendant from Plymouth Colony. During the summer of 1940, he was only 12 then, he build an aircraft (boy-sized) together with his older brother and flew it from the stables of Grinnell College rooftop. After that, he also built a radio and motorized it by soldering a propeller and an old laundry machine engine.
Robert Noyce’s Education
Noyce grew up and attended his schooling mostly in Iowa particularly in Grinnell. During high school he exhibited his talent in Science and Mathematics. When he was in senior year, he took up the course of freshman physics in Grinnell College. In 1945, he graduated high school and eventually went to Grinnell College at the end of the year. Noyce was the 1947 star diver of the swim team of Championship in Midwest Conference. Noyce also exhibit his talent in singing, acting and played oboe when he was in Grinnell College. In 1949, he graduated as a Phi Beta Kappa member, with BA in Mathematics and Physics. He also had an award from his proud classmates which is the signal honour; that is recognized as the man who gets the best and highest grade with minimal work also known as the prize of Brown Derby.
While he was an undergraduate, he attended physics course under Professor Gale. He was fascinated in the physics. Robert was hooked when his professor showed them the first two transistors that ever came out from the Bell Labs. He finished his doctorate degree in MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Robert Noyce’s Career
After he graduated in MIT, he had his very first job in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Philco Corporation as research engineer. After a short experience in making transistor, he then decided to work at Shockley Semiconductor. Noyce’s and Shockleys egos and scientific vision clashed. When some of Shockley’s Semiconductor leaves the company, they realize that they really need a leader. And Noyce was their natural choice because of his confidence at the age of 29. But he also decided to leave Shockley in the year 1957 and found his own Fairchild Semiconductor.
He was the company’s general manager and invented the silicon chip with lots of transistors. According to Fairchild Sherman, the reason for Fairchild to agree and create the eight semiconductor division was Robert’s vision and passionate presentation.
When he left Fairchild Semiconductor, in 1968, Gordon E. Moore and Robert Noyce founded Intel. Arthur Rock and the major investor of the company stated that they needed Moore, Grove including Noyce for the success of Intel. They needed Noyce, because he is the visionary; Moore, for the technology skills; and Grove as an expert technologist and turned to be management scientist. Robert Noyce’s relaxed culture which he brought to the Intel Company was the style he used at the Fairchild Semiconductor Company. He always treated his employees as his family, encouraging and rewarding teamwork. His management style brings success stories for Valley. He avoided corporate fancy cars, reserved spaces for parking, offices, private jets, and furnishings to have less structured, fresh working environment that everyone contributed for there is no exception of lavish benefits.
Family and Marriage
Elizabeth “Betty” Bottomley became his wife in 1953. Bottomley was born in Auburn, Massachusetts on October 7th, 1930. She is Helen McLaren and Frank Bottomley’s daughter. She passed away on September 18th, 1996 at Lincoln Country. She was also a Tufts University graduate of the year 1951. After their marriage, in 1976 she decided to move in Maine and eventually settled there. She has assets that his parents have. She became the art collector and leading philanthropist in Maine. They had 4 children together.
Ann Schmeltz Browsers became Noyce’s second wife. He marries her on November 27th, 1974. She is a Cornell University 1959 graduate. And she was also awarded an honorary in Ph. D in University of Santa Clara. She became a deputy for almost 20 years and was Intel Corporation’s first Director Personnel and the Apple Inc.’s first Human resources Vice President. Currently, she is Noyce’s foundation trustee and serves as the Chairman of the Board.
On June 3, 1990, Robert Noyce suffered from heart attack and eventually died in Texas, specifically in Austin.
Robert Noyce’s Honours and Awards
Robert Noyce filed for the Patent U.S Lead Structure and Semiconductor Device, an integrated circuit on July 1959. This was recorded after the findings of Jack Kilby, the inventor. Almost three United States presidents honoured him because of integrated circuit’s great impact to the world. In 1987, he received a National Medal of Technology Award from President Ronald Reagan. He also received U.S Business hall of Fame, Franklin Institute Stuart Ballantine Medal, IEEE Medal of Honour, National Medal of Science, Charles Stark Draper Prize and a lot more. The Grinnell College science building was also derived the name from him.
Robert Noyce is really a man that everyone should know and recognize. He is one very good example for the teenagers out there. That was 12th of December 2011 when Google Doodle honoured Noyce during his 84th anniversary. He is someone that people should respect and not just for his magnificent inventions but his life as a whole.