20 Notable Black Americans in Telecom and Technology

James Edward Maceo West is in the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He holds 250 patents and developed the electret microphone that is now used in almost all current microphones, including cell phones. West attended Temple University before working for Bell Labs. Along with Gerhard M. Sessler, he developed the foil electret microphone, an inexpensive, compact device that is now used in 90 percent of all contemporary microphones. A prolific writer as well, West has more than 250 patents and became a professor at Johns Hopkins University. Both West and Sessler were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1999. West has also worked with initiatives to entreat women and students of color to explore and pursue careers in the fields of science and technology.

Source: Biography.com