William Bradford Shockley Jr. (February 13, 1910 – August 12, 1989) was an American physicist and inventor. Shockley was the manager of a research group that included John Bardeen and Walter Brattain. The three scientists invented the point contact transistor in 1947 and were jointly awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics. Shockley's attempts to commercialize a new transistor design in the 1950s and 1960s led to California's "Silicon Valley" becoming a hotbed of electronics innovation.
Shockley was born in London, UK, to American parents, and raised in his family's hometown of Palo Alto, California, from age three. His father, William Hillman Shockley, was a mining engineer who speculated in mines for a living, and spoke eight languages. His mother, Mary (née Bradford), grew up in the American West, graduated from Stanford University, and became the first female US Deputy mining surveyor. Shockley married Iowan Jean Bailey at age 23 in August 1933. In March 1934, the couple had a baby girl, Alison.
Shockley died in 1989 of prostate cancer at age 79. His second wife was the former Emmy Lanning (1913–2007). Dr. Shockley is interred at Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, California.
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