Ramo, Simon.

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Engineer, businessman.

From the description of Reminiscences of Simon Ramo : oral history, 1984. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122587776

A scientist, engineer, business entrepeneur, and author, Simon Ramo (b. 1913), who was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, obtained his bachelor's degree from the University of Utah with highest honors and a Ph.D. magna cum laude from the California Institute of Technology at age twenty-three. As a General Electric scientist, he attained world recognition as a pioneer in microwaves and developed GE's electron microscope. Before age thirty, he had accumulated twenty-five patents, was made a Fellow of leading professional societies, as was voted one of America's "most outstanding electrical engineers."

Ramo became one of the nation's top experts in guided missiles, being the chief scientist in developing the nation's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile System (ICBM). As the leading civilian contributor to this largest single program in the country's history, he was awarded a special citation of honor by the Air Force.

Ramo is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. The highest among these are the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, and the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest science honor. He has also received honorary doctorates from the University of Michigan, Case Western Reserve University, Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Utah, the University of Akron, and many other universities.

Ramo is the first recipient of the National Academy of Engineering's Arthur M. Bueche award for statesmanship in national science and technology policy and is also the first recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics Durand Lecture Award. He has been named Laureate in the Business Hall of Fame and has been awarded the Electronis Industries Association's Medal of Honor and the UCLA School of Medicine's Aesculapian Award.

Ramo has played a key role in the building of several outstanding technological corporations. As the organizer of Hughes Aircraft Company's electronics and missile operations, he participated in raising the company to national stature, becoming its vice president for operations. He was co-founder of the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation in 1953 and first president of its subsidiary, Space Technology Laboratories. After the merger of Ramo-Wooldridge with Thompson Products to form Thompson Ramo-Wooldridge, now TRW, Inc., he became vice chairman of TRW's Board of Directors and chairman of the Executive Committee, serving in the latter two capacities until his retirement in 1985. He was also president of TRW's former affiliate, Bunker-Ramo Corporation.

Ramo is Trustee Emeritus of the California State Universities and a Life Trustee of the California Institute of Technology, where he is a Visiting Professor of Management Science. He has been chairman of the Planning Committee of the UCLA School of Medicine and a Regent's Lecturer at the University of California. At Harvard University, he was Fellow of the Faculty of the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He was also a member of the Advisory Board for the School of Management at Carnegie-Mellon University and the Advisory Council for the School of Engineering at Stanford University.

Ramo has been one of the nation's key advisors to the government on science and technology matters. He was chairman of the President's Committe on Science and Technology under President Ford and was co-chairman of the Tranisition Task Force on Science and Technology for President Reagan. He has been a member of the White House Energy Research and Development Council, the Advisory Committee to the Secretary of State on Science and Foreign Affairs, the Advisory Council to Secretary of Commerce, and the Roster of Consultants to the Energy Research and Development Administration. He was also a consultant for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for a member of the Department of Defense's Advisory Committee on the Strategic Defense Initiative. He has been a member of the National Science Board and the Council of Scholars of the Library of Congress.

Ramo is or has been a director or trustee of many business, philanthropic, and professional organizations, including the Atlantic Richfield Company, the Union Bank, the Times Mirror Company, the William M. Keck Foundation, the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, and the Music Center Foundation of Los Angeles. He is the author of a number of texts in science, engineering, and management, widely used by universities and practitioners throughout the world; several books on the relation of technological advancement to society; and a popular treatise on tennis strategy.

Simon Ramo grew up in Salt Lake City where his father, Benjamin Ramo, owned and operated the Golden Rule Store on State Street in the 1920s and 1930s. Science, music, and tennis became his passions. He attended the University of Utah and graduated in 1933. He married Virginia May Smith in 1938. An accomplished violinist, Ramo performed at concerts and gatherings throughout his career. An avid tennis player, he applied his approach to engineering and business to his tennis game.

The Ramos live in California where they are active in supporting the arts and educational institutions.

(Information for this biography was provided by Simon Ramo's office.)

From the guide to the Simon Ramo papers, 1930-2011, (J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Whinnery, John R. Oral history interview with John R. Whinnery, with introduction by Donald O. Pederson, interviews conducted by Ann Lage, 1996. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn National Air and Space Museum. Dept. of Space History. The Glennan-Webb-Seamans Project for Research in Space History, 1985-1990. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Wooldridge, Dean E. Oral history interview with Dean E. Wooldridge, 1976 August 21. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Pickering, William H., 1910-2004. William H. Pickering Speech Collection, 1955-1975. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Library and Archives
creatorOf Simon Ramo papers, 1930-2011 J. Willard Marriott Library, University of UtahManuscripts Division
creatorOf Ramo, Simon. Reminiscences of Simon Ramo : oral history, 1984. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith General Electric Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Hughes Aircraft. corporateBody
associatedWith Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Air and Space Museum. Dept. of Space History. corporateBody
associatedWith Paese, Christian G., person
associatedWith Pickering, William H., 1910-2004. person
associatedWith Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Ramo-Wooldridge-Thompson. corporateBody
associatedWith TRW Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Air Force. corporateBody
associatedWith Whinnery, John R. person
associatedWith Wooldridge, Dean E. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Computer industry--History--Sources
Sports and Recreation
Intercontinental ballistic missiles
Engineers, entrepreneurs--Interviews
Falcon (Missile)
Electron optics
Electrical engineering
Social Life and Customs
Nuclear weapons
Science, Technology, and Health
Consolidation and merger of corporations
Jet propulsion


Birth 1913-05-07




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