Known for: Founding the companies that preceded General Electric
Quote: “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
About: He devised numerous inventions that played a crucial role in modernizing technology from electric power generation being distributed on a mass level to homes and businesses to a stock ticker to recorded music and motion pictures, and there are many others with the same level of importance. Held 1,093 patents and founded 14 companies that combined with competitors in 1890 to form General Electric, currently one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world. And, the only company listed since the beginning of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. His entrepreneurial legacy can be seen in all walks of life, whether it be the utility Commonwealth Edison, the radio station WEEI (AM), or the Edison Medal for outstanding work in the electrical world.