the Seagate Institute of Technology to spread Silicon Valley engineering and manufacturing skills worldwide.
As the data-storage industry matured, Al foresaw that research would become increasingly critical. He was a founder of the Center for Magnetic Recording Research at the University of California at San Diego and a major research and education center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
He left Seagate in July 1998 to run his own company, Al Shugart International, an incubator for start-up companies.
Al campaigned for the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which outlawed frivolous lawsuits and limited securities-fraud class actions against corporate executives.
In his long career, Al won many awards. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1997. Also in 1997, IEEE honored him with the Rey Johnson Award for the advancement of information storage technology. In 2005, he became a fellow of IEEE for his lifelong contributions to the disk-drive industry. In 2005, he was also made a fellow of the Computer History Museum. Al was a popular speaker at storage-industry conferences. He received the CEO of the Year Award from Financial World Magazine and was Data Storage’s Most Admired Executive from 1993 to 1997.
Al was an outstanding leader who inspired great loyalty in his team members. When asked about his leadership model, he often said, “I find a parade, and get in front of it!” Al didn’t invent disk-drive technology—neither RAMAC nor the first floppy drive nor the first hard drive for personal computers. Al made high-performance, low-cost drives available to the world. Early drives had been built a few at a time, like airliners. Al built them by the millions.
Al is survived by his wife Rita, daughter Teri, son Chris, and his stepdaughters, Jill Bambace, Mia Peterson, and Dana Bambace.