July 30, 1889—July 29, 1982
BY JAN RAJCHMAN
TELEVISION AND ELECTRONICS PIONEER Vladimir K. Zworykin died at the Princeton Medical Center on July 29, 1982, one day short of his ninety-third birthday. His inventions of the tubes for image pickup and display provided the keys to television. He was a prolific inventor, an inspired leader of research, and one of the most illustrious innovators of the twentieth century.
Vladimir Zworykin was born in the town of Mourom in Russia, where his father owned and operated a fleet of steamships on the Oka River. Vladimir studied electrical engineering at the Petrograd Institute of Technology, the elite technical center in tsarist Russia, and graduated in 1912. There he worked with Professor Boris Rosing, who already in 1906 was interested in television and believed it would become practical through the use of cathode-ray tubes, rather than the mechanical systems that were being proposed at the time. Zworykin credits Professor Rosing for his decision to become a scientist and innovator and in particular for his interest in developing television by the new techniques that came to be known years later as electronics.
In 1912 Vladimir Zworykin entered the prestigious College de France in Paris, where he engaged in X-ray