WRITTEN BY PETER HAMMAR SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
CHARLES P. GINSBURG, the man who led Ampex Corporation's development of the world's first practical videotape recorder, died at his Eugene, Oregon, home on April 9, 1992. He was seventy-one.
Ginsburg was born in San Francisco and diagnosed with diabetes at the age of four, just two years after insulin was discovered. He lived a normal childhood and graduated from Lowell High School.
Electronics was not his first career choice. He entered the University of California, Berkeley, as a premedical student but transferred to the Davis campus two years later to study animal husbandry. Out of money, he dropped out in 1940 and began work at a series of jobs that eventually steered him into the field where he made his mark sixteen years later.
In 1942 he worked as a sound technician for Harry McCune Sound Services, and from 1943 to 1947 as a studio and transmitter engineer at Associated Broadcasters, Inc., both in San Francisco. It was also during this time that he entered San Jose State College, where he earned a B.A. degree in 1948 in engineering and mathematics. From 1947 to 1952 he worked as a transmitter engineer at Station KQW (now KCBS-AM), San Francisco.
It was there in 1951 that he received a telephone call from Alexander Poniatoff, founder and president of Ampex Cor