1969 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"To be successful you need vision, integrity, humility, and diligence toward worthwhile achievements."
J. Erik Jonsson was the only son of immigrant Swedish parents. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, above a small cigar and stationery store that his father operated. He worked throughout his teens and college years in menial and mechanical jobs. He financed his own education, earning an engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1922. He worked a few years at Aluminum Company of America as a sales engineer before joining a pioneer geophysical exploration company, Geophysical Service, Inc. Under Jonsson's influence, the company evolved into Texas Instruments Incorporated, one of the largest U. S. corporations. A vital force in the discovery of oil, it advanced the development of the semiconductor field. After serving as president and chairman of the board of Texas Instruments for several years, he retired in 1966. He later served as mayor of Dallas.* Deceased