Arnold O. Beckman

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Arnold Orville Beckman (April 10, 1900May 18, 2004) was an American chemist who founded Beckman Instruments based on his invention of the pH meter, a device for measuring acidity, in 1934.

He was an active philanthropist through the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. Donations chiefly went to scientists and scientific causes including the University of Illinois, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1922 and master's degree in 1923, and Caltech, where he received his doctorate in 1928. To date, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation has given more than 400 million dollars to various charities and organizations.

In 1955, Beckman established the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory to fund William Shockley's research into semiconductor technology. Because Shockley's aging mother lived in Palo Alto, Shockley established the laboratory in nearby Mountain View, California. Thus, Silicon Valley was born.

Beckman was born in Cullom, Illinois. During his later years, Beckman lived in Corona Del Mar near Newport Beach, California.

"Arnold Beckman exemplifies the meaning of the word humanitarian. Combined with his unwavering enthusiasm for life, his keen sense of humor and his strong moral and ethical principles, he is a national icon. He has been my close, long-time friend and mentor. Simply put, Arnold Beckman was truly one of the great Horatio Alger heroes of the 20th century. He will be sorely missed, not only by myself, but by everyone who has had the privilege to know him, and whose lives have been touched by his intellect, inventiveness and his wonderful vision and generosity."
- Chairman of the Board, Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Ambassador George L. Argyros

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