Published On: Wed, Mar 23rd, 2016

Andrew Grove, Hi Tech Guru, Intel Co Founder Dies At 79

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Andrew (Andy) S. Grove, PhD., a founder and past CEO of Intel Corporation, passed away on March 21, 2016, in Santa Clara, California, he was 79. His life is a true Horatio Alger story. Born on September 2, 1936, in Budapest, Hungary, he and his mother took false identities to avoid Nazi roundups as Hungary joined forces with Germany in their war with Russia. Hungary’s anti-Jewish laws, based on German precedent and enacted by none other than Adolf Eichmann, forced the young Andrew and his mother to find safety by hiding with Christian family friends for the duration of the World War II. He and his mother were reunited with his father after the war.

He escaped communist oppression during the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, which the Soviet Union crushed, and made his way to the United States. Speaking almost no English, he entered college and earned degrees in chemical engineering. He worked at Fairchild Semiconductor, where he met Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce, two future giants of the semiconductor industry. The three men left Fairchild in 1968 and formed Intel Corporation.

Grove was the director of engineering at Intel and took the company into building CPUs (the microprocessor) – the ‘brain’ of a computer, instead of memory chips. He also finagled a deal with IBM to ensure that only Intel microprocessors were used in IBM personal computers. With IBM’s presence in the personal computer marketplace, sales took off as businesses and families realized that the ‘PC’ could make everyone more efficient. Other major electronics companies jumped into the PC business and others were founded upon the PC, and Intel supplied them all.

Grove led Intel from 1987 until 2004, watching over his company as it grew in valuation from four billion dollars to almost two hundred billion dollars. Most of the company’s profits were reinvested in research and development of the next generation of microprocessors, which continues to this day.

Grove didn’t have some fancy office and all the trapping of a CEO. His office was the same 8 foot by 9 foot cubicle that all the other employees worked in. His interest was in promoting excellent communication, constructive confrontation, and that everyone demand the best from everyone else. That mindset is what made Intel the powerhouse it was and still is today.

Grove generously supported the Michael J. Fox Foundation for research into Parkinson’s disease and has given over $250 million to charities over the years, including the International Rescue Committee. He gave twenty-six million dollars to the City College of New York School of Engineering, his alma mater, which now bears his name.

Andy Grove leaves his beloved wife, Eva, of 58 years and two beloved daughters. Funeral arrangements are private.

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