“Every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the publick interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it…. He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.” – Adam Smith (1723–1790)
Jack St. Clair Kilby, creator of the integrated circuit (or microchip) and Nobel Prize laureate, passed away on Monday. He shared credit for the success of the microchip with Robert Noyce, who later founded Intel with Gordon Moore.
Despite his direct and indirect impact on the last 45+ years of world history and the global economy, he was overlooked by The Discovery Channel in their List of 100 Greatest Americans. Of course, he’s not the only one missing who should be there. Instead, that list is littered with the likes of Madonna, Hugh Hefner, Tom Cruise, Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Phil, and Mel Gibson. Gimme a break.
You can find a brief autobiography on Jack Kilby here.
Another good article on his contributions is here.