Name of AAPI FigureAn Wang
What is the person’s Asian heritage or ethnicity?Chinese-American
Area of InfluenceComputer Science, Business
Date of birth or time periodFebruary 7, 1920 – March 24, 1990
How did this individual make a contribution to their field or to society/culture at large?An Wang was a computer engineer and inventor, and one of the pioneers of the computer industry. He is best known for his invention of magnetic core memory, the predominant form of computer memory for around 20 years between 1955 and 1975. In 1951, he started his own computer company, Wang Laboratories, which became one of America’s leading manufacturers in computers and word processing systems. At its peak, the company had a value of $3 billion and employed over 30,000 people.
Why did you choose this person? What about their story speaks to you?An Wang has many roots in the Boston area, where he was based for most of his career. He was the founder and longtime CEO of Wang Laboratories, which was headquartered in Cambridge, Tewksbury, and Lowell. The Wang Theatre in Boston is named after him.
How does this person inspire you?Since their invention, computers have become an integral part of modern society, affecting nearly every aspect of our lives. It was very inspiring to learn that an Asian-American with local roots was a key contributor to the founding of the computer industry!
Submitted byVictoria Yuan
City, StateLexington, MA