Inventor of the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC), the world's first digital computer. He defended and won the claim that he had created the computer in the 1973 case Honeywell v. Sperry Rand.
With a talent for mathematics for an early age, he decided from his high school days to study theoretical physics.
His computer was built only to solve linear equations, but it was the first to use binary digits to represent data, and the first to use electronic components to perform calculations.
He was born in Hamilton, New York, both of his parents dying in a war against Turkey when he was a year old.
For his work on the ABC he was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1990 by the President George H. W. Bush.