Marty Cooper

“The most important thing that I’ve learned—the most profound thing in the last 50 years since we put the first cell phone together—is the importance of keeping in mind that everything we do is to improve the human experience. Not everyone knows how to dream. The dream that I had 50 years ago is one of the reasons that we are all connected today, that we now have a supercomputer in our pockets. We need more dreamers, people who are not afraid to try, and fail, and try again.”


—From a Motorola India video interview. See the video here:


Del Mar resident Martin (Marty) Cooper is widely regarded as the father of the handheld cellphone. As the general manager of Motorola’s communications systems division, he led the team that built the first mobile cellphone. Famously, 50 years ago, he made the first public phone call from a handheld cell phone – and he chose to make that call to his competitor at Bell Labs.

Martin (Marty) Cooper. Photo by Jeffrey J. Schwartz (CC BY 2.0).