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1966 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Chester Carlson*

Xerox Corporation

"Believe in your ideas and stick with them until they become reality."

Chester Carlson began working at the age of 12 in San Bernardino, California, to help his parents, who both had tuberculosis. By the time he was 14, he was the family's chief financial support. Despite the death of his mother when he was 17, Carlson managed to earn a degree in physics in 1930 from the California Institute of Technology. Later, while working as a patent attorney in New York, he became frustrated with the inconvenience of obtaining extra copies of documents. In 1935, he set out to invent a machine into which one could feed an original, push a button, and get a copy. He worked for three years on his invention. On October 22, 1938, he developed the world's first electrostatic copying process. This process was later named xerography. Carlson joined the Haloid Company, which became Xerox, in 1961. They produced their first copier in 1950.

* Deceased