Del Mar cellphone Inventor Marty Cooper honored with VITA™ Wireless Samaritan Award
Marty Cooper played a key role in producing the first cellphone and nearly 30 years later, his use of a wireless device helped save the life of a close friend. Cooper was presented with a VITA™ Wireless Samaritan Award by The Wireless Foundation and CTIA-The Wireless Association® at the 17th annual Achievement Awards dinner on Monday, June 6.Cooper’s friend, Masami Yamamoto, was supposed to meet up with him after a ski run in Colorado, but never arrived. Cooper called his friend’s cellphone and learned that Masami had skied off the trail onto a narrow ledge that was above a several-hundred-foot drop. Over the next 90 minutes, Cooper coordinated with Masami and the Vail Dispatch Center to determine the exact location so the rescue team could safely retrieve his friend.
“It’s quite a coincidence,” Masami Yamamoto said. “He developed the first cellphone, and then he saved me with one.”
“Marty’s impact on wireless technology is undeniable and he remains an important figure for our industry’s continued innovation. We are proud to honor him with the VITA Wireless Samaritan Award for using his cellphone to save his friend’s life,” said Steve Largent, president of The Wireless Foundation and president and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association.
The awards are presented annually to recognize Americans who used wireless technology to save lives, stop crime and help in other emergency situations.
Thanks to his lifesaving actions, Cooper was selected by a panel of law enforcement and emergency response representatives. There were nine VITA Wireless Samaritan Award recipients from across the nation.
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