John Francis Mitchell

John Francis Mitchell (January 1, 1928 – June 9, 2009) was an American electronics engineer and president and chief operating officer of Motorola.[3][4]

John F. Mitchell
Portrait of John Francis Mitchell, Vice Chairman, Motorola.jpg
John F. Mitchell in 1996
Born
John Francis Mitchell

(1928-01-01)January 1, 1928
DiedJune 9, 2009(2009-06-09) (aged 81)
NationalityAmerican
EducationIllinois Institute of Technology
OccupationExecutive, engineer
EmployerMotorola
Known forWireless technology[1][2]
TitleChief Engineer
President & COO
Vice chairman

Mitchell led the pioneering development and implementation of Motorola's mobile phone technology producing the first portable transistorized pager and cell phone. He was the driving force behind building quality into engineering,[5] and the establishment of the Motorola University and Six Sigma Institute;[6] and launched the global Iridium satellite constellation.

Family and early yearsEdit

He was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Catholic Irish immigrants,[3][7] William Mitchell of Sligo and Bridget Keane, of Listowel. He was married to Margaret and had three children.

Radio telephony and the cell phoneEdit

 
DynaTAC 8000X;1983, $3,995. 13" tall, weighed 30 oz.[8] First commercial portable cell phone. Dubbed the "Boot," later, a slimmer version was called the "Brick." DynaTAC=Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage. -First Patent Shown Here:[9] -Mitchell & DynaTAC, 04/03/73[10]

Mitchell became Motorola's chief engineer for its mobile communication products in 1960. Prior to the development of the cell phone, Mitchell and his team of engineers produced and marketed the first transistorized pager[3][11] and obtained a patent for the concept of portable cell telephony, including small antennae used to help free mobile phone units from car trunks where they were typically installed.[12]

Mitchell, Motorola's chief of portable communication products and Martin Cooper's[13] boss in 1973, played a key role in advancing the development of handheld mobile telephone equipment. Mitchell successfully pushed Motorola to develop wireless communication products that would be small enough to use anywhere and participated in the design of the cellular phone.[14]

Other initiativesEdit

In 1983, Mitchell was appointed to U.S. President Ronald Reagan's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.[2] He was a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and was a chairman of the Electronic Industries Alliance. He was a recognized expert on world trade,[15] serving as director of the National Association of Manufacturers, and an expert on federal fiscal policy.[16] Mitchell was a director of Bell & Howell Company, a trustee of the Engineering Advisory Council, Marquette University, and an active participant in the Easter Seals (US) Campaign and a member of the Presidents Council of the American Lung Association.[15] Mitchell was a trustee at Illinois Institute of Technology, the Dublin City University and the University of Limerick Foundation. He was one of the architects, which also included Chuck Feeney, of the huge expansion of the University of Limerick during the 1990s and 2000s through his work[17] on the University of Limerick foundation.[18] As a philanthropist and member of IIT's Philip Danforth Armour Society, Mitchell established endowed scholarship funds for the Camras Program, the Leadership Academy and electrical engineering students. To date,[when?] the John F. Mitchell scholarship funds have supported more than 70 students at the university.[12][15]

AwardsEdit

Mitchell was awarded honorary degrees from the Illinois Institute of Technology in humane letters and science, 1995;[19] an honorary doctorate of business administration from Iowa Wesleyan College, on May 18, 1985,[20] and from Dublin City University (Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath) on October 25, 1996.[21] He was a recipient of the 2003 Chicago Innovation Award.[22] He received from the IIT Alumni Association its award for Professional Achievement in 1985, Alumni Medal in 1994 and Lifetime Achievement Award (posthumous) 2010.[23]

PatentsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ University of Limerick Foundation Memorial for John Francis Mitchell - Trustee
  2. ^ a b "John Francis Mitchell Obituary" Chicago Tribune, June 20–21, 2009
  3. ^ a b c Stephen Miller, "John Francis Mitchell Retirement", The Wall Street Journal, June 20–21, 2009
  4. ^ John F. Mitchell biography
  5. ^ "The John Mitchell Quality Tester". Chicago Tribune. June 14, 2009.
    - Sandra Guy, "John F. Mitchell, Longtime Motorola Leader", Chicago Sun-Times, July 2, 2009]
  6. ^ Tennant, Geoff (2001). SIX SIGMA: SPC and TQM in Manufacturing and Services - Quality Returns to America. Gower Publishing, Ltd. p. 6. ISBN 0566083744.
  7. ^ William & Bridie Mitchell, parents of John F. Mitchell
  8. ^ Frances Romero, "John F. Mitchell",Time, July 6, 2009
    - "Details on the original DynaTAC"
  9. ^ Patent for the First Cell Phone System (Radio Telephone System) Announced April 3, 1973.
  10. ^ Howard Wolinsky, "From Brick to Slick; John F. Mitchell in NYC on April 3, 1973 at Patent Office on announcement of the DynaTAC cell phone", Chicago Sun-Times, April 3, 2003
  11. ^ Howard Wolinksky, "Cell Phones, From Brick to Slick", Chicago Sun-Times, pages 57-61, April 3, 2003
  12. ^ a b "J.F.Mitchell Biography". Illinois Institute of Technology. 2010.
  13. ^ "The top 15 Giants in Telephony" Archived January 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
    - "Who Invented the Cell Phone?"
  14. ^ "Motorola Executive Helped spur Cellphone Revolution, Oversaw Ill-fated Iridium Project", The Wall Street Journal, 20–21 June 2009, p. A10.
    - "John F. Mitchell, 1928–2009: Was president of Motorola from 1980 to '95". Chicago Tribune. June 17, 2009. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
  15. ^ a b c Biography of John F. Mitchell, Iowa Wesleyan College
  16. ^ "Iowa Weslyan College Commencement Address". Purple & White. Iowa Wesleyan College. May 18, 1985. Mitchell known as an expert on fiscal policy
  17. ^ "Jimmy Deenihan MP, Kerry". Chicago Tribune. June 16, 2009.
  18. ^ John Mitchell, UL Foundation
    - "John Francis Mitchell Obituary". Chicago Tribune. June 19, 2009.
  19. ^ "IIT Commencement Award notes". IIT. 1995. Mitchell granted an honorary doctorate of Humane letters & Science
  20. ^ "IWC Commencement Award". Purple & White. Iowa Wesleyan College. May 18, 1985.
    - John Francis Mitchell, Doctor of Business Administration, IWC, May 18, 1983
  21. ^ "John Francis Mitchell Honorary Graduate Dublin City University (Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath)".
  22. ^ John Francis Mitchell, Ton Kobrinetz, Marty Cooper, Chicago Sun-Times-Innovation Awards
  23. ^ Commencement Awards & Notes IIT], 1995
  24. ^ "Jack Germain & Art Sundry Key Movers in Creation of Motorola's Six Sigma Culture"