Black History Month Spotlight: Mark Dean

The bright future of technology, although always facing forward, would be nothing without the past. In honor of Black History Month, our weekly profile will highlight historically important Black inventors and thinkers that shaped today’s tech landscape.

Mark Dean

Mark Dean: The Great Connecter

Groundbreaking computer engineer Mark Dean is the brain behind a number of landmark technologies for IBM, helping to the personal computer age with innovative that made our favorite tools more accessible and powerful.

A Jefferson City, Tennessee native, Dean landed a job at IBM after graduating from engineering at the University of Tennessee. He quickly went on to produce some of the company’s most important innovations, holding three of IBM’s original nine patents.

He first invented the Industry Standard Architecture system bus with engineer Dennis Moeller, which allows for computer plug-ins such as disk drives, printers, and most of all, modems. But he didn’t stop there. He also led the design team behind the creation of the color pc monitor and the 1GHz RISC processor chip. Having occupied several big positions at IBM, he would become the first ever African-American to join IBM Fellow, which is the highest honor any scientist, engineer, or programmer can achieve at the company.

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