Earl L. Steele

Earl L. Steele
Denver, CO, USA
Death date
Associated organizations
General Electric (GE), Hughes Aircraft
Fields of study
IEEE Third Millennium Medal


Earl Larsen Steele was born on September 24, 1923 in Denver, CO, he was a son of the late Earl H. and Jennie Louise Larsen of Nephi, Utah. He graduated in 1941 from, Juab High School in Nephi, Utah while earning money for college performing as a magician. He graduated 1945 BS with honors, University of Utah; Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1952. As a graduate student he met his wife of 50 years, Martha Hennessey Steele at the physics department at Cornell.

From 1951 to 1956, Steele was a research at physicist General Electric Company. He moved to Phoenix, AZ in 1956 to pursue a position at the Semiconductor Division at Motorola. Shortly afterwards, he became an associate professor of engineering at Arizona State University at Tempe. Another move would follow in 1958, and Steele was the manager of the semiconductor development laboratory at Hughes Aircraft from 1958 to 1963. Steele taught at the Southern California College from 1962-1963 and worked at North Aviation from 1963 to 1968. After a brief stint at Irvine Campus from 1967 yo 1968, Steele would move again to Kentucky, where he became a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Kentucky at Lexington, where he would spend the rest of his career.

Steele was a fellow of the IEEE, a member of the Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering Honor Society, and authored textbook Optical Lasers in Electronics, and was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. He received IEEE Third Millennium Medal in 2000, the Outstanding Teacher Award from Engineering College of the University of Kentucky in 1971, 1986, 1987 and 1988, and the University of Kentucky Alumni Great Teacher Award, 1975.

Steele died on July 27th, 2003.

Further Reading

Earl Steele Oral History