Bernard J. Lechner was born on January 25th, 1932 in New York City. He grew up in New Rochelle, NY and received a BSEE degree from Columbia in 1957. After graduating from Columbia, he joined RCA as Member of Technical Staff where he spent 30 years before retiring as staff vice president of advanced video systems.
During his career at RCA, Lecher made pioneering contributions to the development of flat screen displays and the development of HDTV standards. Lecher expanded on George Heilmeier's work on LCDs and developed an LCD TV screen by using a sample-and-hold technique by connecting an electric capacity in parallel to each LCD pixel and controlling its charge through a field-effect transistor.
Lecher was a Fellow of the IEEE, the Society for Information Display (SID) and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. He received the 2011 IEEE Jun-ichi Nishizawa Medal for conceiving the principle of active matrix LCDs, the 1971 SID Frances Rice Darne Award, the 1983 Beatrice Winner Award, the 1996 David Sarnoff Medal, and the 2001 Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers Progress Medal. The Advanced Television Systems Committee Bernard J. Lechner Award was established in 2000.
Lechner died on April 11th, 2014.