Mr. Frank S. Greene
Tech History

Frank S. Greene – Black History Month

Technologist Frank S. Greene: a man who developed the high speed semiconductor computer memory systems in the 1960s. He was best known as an entrepreneur and investment chief executive and a person worth knowing!


Greene has extensively studied electrical engineering: earning a Bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis (and was among the first black students to attend college there), a Master’s from Purdue University and a PhD from Santa Clara University.


After earning his Master’s, he served four years in the U.S. Air Force and became an Air Force captain prior to going back to school for his PhD from Santa Clara. He would reach the ranks of captain before joining Fairchild Semiconductor’s R&D Labs as a memory chip and system designer. He was considered to be the pioneers of semiconductor technology and broke new ground for black engineers as he helped break the color barrier in Silicon Valley of that time. He developed and held the patent for the integrated circuit that made Fairchild a leader in the semiconductor industry.

Greene would spend the rest of his life between teaching electrical engineering at universities and continue additional entrepreneurial pursuits. In 1986, he founded NewVista Capital, but not before creating two software firms. NewVista Capital helped launch several minority and women start up companies. In 2001, the Dr. Frank S. Greene Scholars Program was established to develop leaders with strong science and mathematics backgrounds.


Among many honors, Greene received the Purdue University Outstanding Electrical Engineer Award, Santa Clara University Distinguished Engineering Alumnus and was inducted into the Silicon Valley Hall of Fame.

Greene Scholars


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