De Forest, Lee at English => English (The Britannica Concise) Of Explained:
U.S. inventor. Born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, he had invented many gadgets by age 13, incl. a working silverplating apparatus. After earning a PhD from Yale Univ., he founded the De Forest Wireless Telegraph Co. (1902) and gave public demonstrations of wireless telegraphy, incl. a live performance by E. Caruso in 1910. In 1907 he patented the Audion vacuum tube. He developed a sound-on-film optical-recording system called Phonofilm and demonstrated it in theaters (1923-27). Though he was unable to interest film producers in its possibilities, the film industry soon converted to talking pictures using a similar process. A poor businessman and a poorer judge of people, he was twice defrauded by his business partners. Eventually despairing of success in business or manufacturing, he sold his patents at low prices to such firms as Amer. Telephone & Telegraph Co., which profited highly from their commercial development. Though embittered, he was widely honored as the father of radio and the grandfather of television.