Computer Engineer And Inventor

Computer Engineer And Inventor

Written on 04/17/2021

An Wang (means "peaceful king"), made important inventions relating to computer memories and to electronic calculators. He was the founder and longtime executive officer of Wang Laboratories Incorporated, a leading American manufacturer of computers and word processing systems.

Wang, his family, his family trust, and Wang Laboratories gave generously in time and money to education and charity. Wang himself served as a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and the Massachusetts Board of Regents, as trustee of Northeastern University and of Boston College, and as an overseer of Harvard, to which he gave $4 million. In 1983 the Wangs donated $4 million to save the Boston Metropolitan Center, renamed the Wang Center for the Performing Arts. The Wangs were major funders of the nine-story Ambulatory Care Center of the Massachusetts General Hospital, giving it $4 million. Wang was a major funder of the Fairbanks Center for Asian Studies at Harvard. He supported China scholars and studies at MIT, Harvard, and the Chinese Cultural Institute.

Wang was awarded 23 honorary degrees. Those he prized most were from Harvard and Chiao Tung, now in Taiwan. In 1986 he received the US Medal of Liberty; in 1987 Datamation entered him in its Hall of Fame, and in 1988 he was entered into the National Inventors' Hall of Fame.


"My days are spent doing the things I really want to do. The satisfaction of turning an idea into something real never diminishes, and the great gift of change is that it continually replenishes the stock of new ideas that might be brought to life. The thrill of this challenge more than compensates for the setbacks that are the price of learning and growth. There are still many lessons to be learned."

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