Elected in 1970
“For technological contributions and leadership in the
growth of the semiconductor electronics industry.”
BY THOMAS J. ENGIBOUS
MARK SHEPHERD, JR., whose leadership of Texas Instruments, Inc., spanned three decades, died on February 4, 2009, at his ranch in Quitman, Texas, at the age of 86.
A pioneer in the fledgling semiconductor industry, Mark’s engineering and manufacturing know-how helped transition new technologies from the laboratory to mass production, sometimes years ahead of the competition. In the process he helped establish TI as one of the premier electronics companies. At various times beginning in the 1960s through his retirement in 1988, he led TI as chairman, president, chief executive officer, and chief operating officer.
Born in Dallas, Texas, on January 18, 1923, Mark was the only son of Mark and Louisa Shepherd. Wanting to give their son a head start, Mark’s parents enrolled him in school at the age of 4. When most children entered elementary school, Mark was ready for the fourth grade. He showed an interest for technical things early in life, building his first crystal radio when he was about 7.
Mark’s education continued at an accelerated pace. He graduated from high school at the age of 14. He then attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) on a scholarship, graduating with honors at the age of 19 in 1942 with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering.