Otis Boykin patented at least 26 inventions during his lifetime, from the chemical air filter for gas masks to the burglar proof cash register. Born in Dallas in 1920, the famous inventor was the valedictorian at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, which earned him a scholarship to attend the legendary HBCU Fisk University. He later moved to Chicago and attended the Illinois Institute of Technology. Sadly, he wasn't able to complete his education and was forced to drop out because he couldn't afford tuition.

In spite of this disappointment, Boykin was not deterred and still reached success with an interest in the emerging field of electronics. His work as a lab assistant at Chicago's Majestic Radio and TV Corporation set him on the path of becoming a world famous inventor. In 1959, he patented the 'wire precision resistor' and later improved his own design to withstand temperature and air pressure. The Boykin resistors revolutionized the world of electronic devices, making them more efficient, cheaper, and more reliable. His inventions were used in everything from radios, TVs, military missiles, IBM computers, and more.

Most notably, Boykin's wire precision resistor led to creating control functions for the first implantable pacemaker. The rest, as they say, is history. Below, learn more about this iconic Black inventor.

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