Jerry Merryman, One of Three Inventors of Texas Instruments Calculator, Dies at 86

Jerry Merryman, one of the inventors of Texas Instruments' handheld electronic calculator who is described by those who knew him as not only brilliant but also kind with a good sense of humor, has died. He was 86.Merryman died Feb. 27 at a Dallas hospital from complications of heart and kidney failure, said his stepdaughter, Kim Ikovic. She said he'd been hospitalized since late December after experiencing complications during surgery to install a pacemaker.He's one of the three men credited with inventing the handheld calculator while working at Dallas-based Texas Instruments. The team was led by Jack Kilby, who made way for today's computers with the invention of the integrated circuit and won the Nobel Prize, and also included James Van Tassel. The prototype they built is at the Smithsonian Institution."I have a Ph.D. in material science and I've known hundreds of scientists, professors, Nobel prize-winners and so on. Jerry Merryman was the most brilliant man that I've ever met. Period. Absolutely, outstandingly brilliant," said Vernon Porter, a former TI colleague and friend. "He had an incredible memory and he had an ability to pull up formulas, information, on almost any subject."Another former TI colleague and friend, Ed Millis, said, "Jerry did the circuit design on this thing in three days, and if he was ever around, he'd lean over and say, 'and nights."'  Continue reading...

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