Father of the cell phone
- UNLESS you work in the telecoms industry, you are unlikely to have heard of Marty Cooper. He is hardly a household name. But his influence has been felt across the world, because he is the engineer who took the cellular technology used in the carphones of the 1970s and decided that phones ought to be small enough to be portable. His determination led to the first prototype, in 1973, and then to the first commercial mobile phone in 1983. â€śMarty is the most influential person no one has ever heard of,â€ť says Robert McDowell, a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission, Americaâ€™s telecoms regulator.