Tag Archives: Cellphone

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Some Jew of the Week highlights in honour of our recent 5th Birthday!

Jews of the Week: Martin Cooper and Joel Engel

Inventing the Cellphone

Cellphone Inventor

Martin Cooper & DynaTAC

Though many people were involved in the production of the cellphone, credit is given to Martin Cooper (b. 1928), nicknamed the “father of the cellphone”, who made the first cellular phone call in New York on April 3, 1973. Cooper was the executive of Motorola, and placed the first-ever cellphone call to his major competitor Joel S. Engel (b. 1936), a fellow Jew who was also working on cellphone technology. Engel participated in the Apollo space program and worked for AT&T before becoming the research head at Bell Labs, where he had previously co-led the team that developed “the architecture of the cellular network and its parameterization”. Meanwhile, Martin Cooper was born in Chicago to Ukranian-Jewish immigrants. Besides the cellphone, he had many more contributions to radio and communications technology, including “Cooper’s Law”, named in his honour. He went on to become Vice-President and Corporate Director at Motorola, which opened its first branch outside the U.S. in Israel. Their first phone was the DynaTAC, which weighed 1 kilogram and cost $9,000 (adjusting for inflation). Cooper described it as such: “The battery lifetime was 20 minutes, but that wasn’t really a big problem because you couldn’t hold that phone up for that long.” He said that his inspiration for the cellphone came from Captain Kirk’s Communicator device on Star Trek!

Words of the Week

Joel Engel

We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death.

– Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah