Family tree of Lee DEFOREST

Inventor, Sciences - Other

AmericanBorn Lee DEFOREST

American inventor with over 180 patents to his credit

Born on August 26, 1873 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA , United States

Died on June 30, 1961 in Hollywood, California, USA

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Lee De Forest was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the son of Anna Margaret (née Robbins) and Henry Swift De Forest.

His father was a Congregational Church minister who hoped that his son would also become a minister. Henry Swift DeForest accepted the position of President of Talladega College, a traditionally African American school, in Talladega, Alabama, where Lee spent most of his youth. Many citizens of the white community resented his father's efforts to educate Negro students, but Lee De Forest had several friends among the Negro children of the town.


De Forest attended Mount Hermon School, and in 1893 enrolled at the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University in Connecticut. As an inquisitive young inventor, he tapped into the electrical system at Yale one evening and completely blacked out the entire campus, causing his suspension. He was eventually allowed to complete his studies, receiving his bachelor's degree in 1896. He paid part of his tuition with the income from his mechanical and gaming inventions. De Forest earned his Ph.D. degree in 1899 with a dissertation on radio waves, supervised by theoretical physicist Willard Gibbs. For the next two years, he was on faculty at Armour Institute of Technology and Lewis Institute (merging in 1940 to become Illinois Institute of Technology) and conducted his first long-distance broadcasts from the university.

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Geographical origins

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