Otis Boykin – Black History Month

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Otis Boykin - Black History Month

Otis Boykin was born on August 29, 1920, in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Fisk College in 1941 and took a job with the Majestic Radio and TV Corporation. He later worked at P. J. Nilsen Research Laboratories. He began to invent products on his own, with some of his noteworthy inventions including a wire precision resistor used in televisions and radios and a control unit for the pacemaker. He died in 1982 of heart failure.

Early Life and Education

Inventor Otis Boykin was born on August 29, 1920, in Dallas, Texas. After graduating from high school, he attended Fisk College in Nashville, Tennessee, graduating in 1941.

Otis Boykin - Black History Month

That same year, he took a job as a lab assistant with the Majestic Radio and TV Corporation in Chicago, Illinois. He rose in the ranks, ultimately serving as a supervisor. He eventually took a position with the P.J. Nilsen Research Laboratories while trying to start his own business, Boykin-Fruth Incorporated. At the same time, he decided to continue his education, pursuing graduate studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois. He was forced to drop out in 1947, after only two years of education, because he was unable to afford tuition.

Otis Boykin - Black History Month

Inventions

Boykin, who took a special interest in working with resistors, began researching and inventing on his own. He sought and received a patent for a wire precision resistor on June 16, 1959. This resistor would later be used in radios and televisions. Two years later, he created a breakthrough device that could withstand extreme changes in temperature and pressure. The device, which was cheaper and more reliable than others on the market, came in great demand by the United States military for guided missles and IBM for computers.

In 1964, Boykin moved to Paris, creating electronic innovations for a new market of customers. His most famous invention was a control unit for the pacemaker. Ironically, Boykin died in Chicago in 1982 as a result of heart failure. Upon his death, he had 26 patents to his name.

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