Marty Cooper Background
Five decades ago, the only place you could find a commercial wireless telephone was built into the dashboard of an automobile—attached to a trunk full of equipment that the car had to lug around in the trunk. Motorola’s mobile division led the effort that transformed wireless telephony into mobile telephony. Marty and his team further revolutionized telecommunications forever by marrying the idea of portability with cellular technology, unveiling the prototype of a hand-held cellular phone in 1973. Then, after a decade of development, tenacity and vision, Motorola marketed the world’s first commercial mobile-cellular phone 1983. From the spark of that first 2.5-pound DynaTAC phone, an industry of over 4 billion mobile phones has flourished.
Conceiving the mobile phone is just one of Marty’s many product achievements. He has been involved in and contributed to virtually every major innovation in personal-wireless communication—and a few others—over the past five decades. For example, he kick-started the market for quartz watches in the 1960s. In the 1970s, he led the Motorola team that transformed paging from something that worked in single buildings into one that could stretch across cities. That same decade he conceived of the concept of trunked radio (in which callers can use multiple lines to reach other callers, rather than being restricted to using just one particular line) and worked with the FCC to introduce it into the regulatory system. This revolutionized the land-mobile industry of two-way radio systems (such as those used in police cars and taxis). Then in the 1980s, he, Arlene, and T. Russell Shields launched a billing-software company for the new cellular industry that was later sold to Cincinnati Bell. And in the 1990s, he co-founded ArrayComm, now the world leader in smart antenna technology.
Today, as chairman and co-founder of the incubator Dyna LLC, Marty advises companies and the government on a wide variety of telecommunications issues. He is widely recognized as an innovator in spectrum management and has been involved in industry and government efforts to allocate new radio-frequency spectrum for the two-way radio services in the United States. He has testified before the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Senate. Currently, Marty serves on the U.S. Department of Commerce Spectrum Advisory Committee that advises the Deputy Secretary of Commerce on spectrum policy.
Marty is widely published and continues to write and speak around the world about wireless communications, health care, technological innovation, the Internet, and R&D management. He has received numerous awards, including the 2009 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Illinois Institute of Technology, which also awarded him an honorary doctorate. He has served on the boards of several public and private companies.