“The Scrappy Entrepreneur Who Fathered America’s ICBMs”
In 2013, at age 100, he received Patent No. 8606170B2 for a computer-based learning invention — becoming the oldest person at the time to receive a patent.
Since I was in my early twenties, I had the opportunity to work for and be mentored by Dr. Simon Ramo the Godfather of America’s ICBM. He was called on by President Eisenhower to build America’s first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile in 1955 – one year after the Russians exploded a hydrogen bomb and shortly thereafter demonstrated to the world with the launch of Sputnik that they had an operational ballistic missile to deliver it.
At 42, in 1953, Dr. Ramo had just started his own aerospace and defense firm and was working out of an old barbershop with a partner in Los Angeles (back when LA was more of an aerospace industry than a social media economy). He oversaw the development of the Minuteman Missile Program, which Team America deployed within eight years across the heartland of the country to assure the Soviet Union that if they ever launched their missiles, we would be right there. This was the genesis of mutual assured destruction (MAD) in the 1960s.
My mentor rose to the occasion in a time of national need. He moved fast and scrappily. And he never gave up. As an inventor and entrepreneur who dedicated his career to the nation, Simon Ramo truly embodied the American spirit that built our country. And the result is that the world has not had to suffer from a nuclear holocaust.
Oh, and he was also a multi-millionaire with over forty patents who would expect me to pick up the phone as soon as he rang – even when I was working for the President of the United States as the Administrator of NASA.