Martin Cooper

Chairman, Dyna LLC

Martin Cooper

Speaker Bio

San Diego, CA…Martin Cooper is an engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, and futurist. He is known as the “father of the cell phone.” Cooper led the creation of the world’s first cell phone in 1973 at which time he made the first public cell phone call.

For nearly 3 decades at Motorola, Cooper contributed to the development of pagers, two-way radio dispatch systems, quartz crystal manufacturing, and more.

A serial entrepreneur, he and his wife, Arlene Harris, cofounded numerous wireless technology companies including Cellular Business Systems, Cellular PayPhone, Subscriber Computing,  SOS Wireless Communications, GreatCall, and ArrayComm. Cooper is currently chairman of Dyna LLC and a member of the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council. He was the first to observe the Law of Spectrum Capacity, which became known as Cooper’s Law.

In 2013, Cooper became a member of the National Academy of Engineering from which he received the Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering. He was awarded the Marconi Prize “for being a wireless visionary who reshaped the concept of mobile communication.” He has been inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame and Wireless History Foundation’s Wireless Hall of Fame. The Radio Club of America awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. He is a lifetime member of the IEEE, was president of its Vehicular Technology Society and received its Centennial Medal. In 2007, Time magazine named him one of the “100 Best Inventors in History.” He is a Prince of Asturias Laureate.

His book, “Cutting the Cord”: the cellphone transformed humanity fuses his personal story, wireless history, what the wireless world will look like 20 to 100 years from now and what the wireless industry will become.  The cellphone evolution will offer the potential for eliminating poverty, improving education for everyone, and eliminating disease. 

Cooper grew up in Chicago, the son of Ukrainian immigrants. He attended Crane Technical High School and the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he is a Life Trustee. He served in the US Navy as a submarine officer during the Korean conflict and was honored with the Naval Submarine League’s Distinguished Submariner Award in 2022.  He lives in Del Mar, California with his wife, Arlene Harris.