Jesse Russell is the inventor of the Digital Cellular Communication that now powers today's modern cellphones. Jesse graduated from Tennessee State University, a historically black university. In 1972, he went to work for Bell Laboratories and 1980 he was selected as one of the most outstanding engineers in America at the age of 32.
He grew up 1 out of 9 brothers and sisters in a very poor part of Nashville Tennesse.
In the early days of the Cellular Radio System, Bell Labs had a hard time selling the technology because it was car based and the money was lost as soon as people left their cars. Jesse approached them with the idea to make the system portable and take it out of the cars but the bandwidth needed was not available. So he told them he had been working on digital bandwidth technology witch would decrease the bandwidth needed to take the device portable. They liked his idea and thus the mobile cellphone technology was born between the years 1984-1988. In the aftermath, the business grew from a 100 million dollar business to 5 Billion dollars simply because Jesse dared to challenge the status quo in the midst of Black Stereo types in an all white group of engineers at Bell labs.
Today Jesse, heads his own firm, Inc Networks which is developing more digital telecommunications for the future.
Check out this powerful video of this little known black history fact.
The Greatest Stories Never Told: Jesse Russell from David E. Garnett on Vimeo.