Best remembered as the inventor of modern intermittent windshield wipers, he was the victor in patent infringement court cases against both the Chrysler Corporation and the Ford Motor Company.
He studied engineering at Wayne State University, the University of Detroit-Mercy, and Case Western Reserve University.
During World War II, he worked for the Office of Strategic Services as an intelligence professional.
Before divorcing in the aftermath of his court battles, he and his wife Phyllis raised six children.
He was portrayed by actor Greg Kinnear in the 2008 film Flash of Genius.