On June 26, 2013, New York Hilton General Manager Mark Lauer was presented with a plaque commemorating Marty’s first cell phone call outside the hotel. According to Hilton’s Director of Corporate Communications, “This will forever live in the annals of New York Hilton Midtown’s history as being one of the greatest moments of telecommunications history!” The plaque reads:
“In April 1973, Dr. Martin Cooper made the first handheld cellular phone call in history on 6th Avenue in front of this hotel.
Cooper was born on December 26, 1928, in Chicago. The Illinois Institute of Technology granted him bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering and an honorary doctorate.
At Motorola, Inc., Cooper conceived of the first cellular telephone and led the team that created it. Inspired by a belief that the freedom to communicate anywhere would start a revolution, Cooper envisioned a small, handheld device like the “Communicator” he once saw Captain James T. Kirk use on Star Trek.
The orginal cell phone created by Cooper and his fellow engineers weighed 2.5 pounds and was 10 inches long. It was nicknamed “the brick.”
On April 3, 1973, Cooper stood outside of the New York Hilton and had the first public conversation on a cellular phone. Cooper called his competitor at Bell Labs, Joel Engel, and said “Hi, it’s Marty; I’m calling you on a ‘real’ cell phone.
Cooper then entered the Hilton with his mentor, John F. Mitchell, and held a press conference about his new invention. The number of cell phones now in use is larger than the number of people in the world.”