Elizabeth Noyce

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Elizabeth Noyce
Born 7 October 1930
Auburn, Massachusetts
Died 18 September 1996
Bremen, Maine
Alma mater Tufts University
Occupation Philanthropist
Net worth $100 million to $1 billion[1]
Spouse(s) Robert Noyce (divorced)
Children William, Pendred, Priscilla, Margaret
Parents Frank Bottomley and Helen McLaren

Elizabeth Noyce was an American philanthropist in the state of Maine.[1]

She was born Elizabeth Bottomley on October 7, 1930 in Auburn, Massachusetts, the daughter of Frank Bottomley and Helen McLaren. She was a 1951 graduate of Tufts University.

In the early 1950s, Robert Noyce was working on a PhD at MIT, which is close to Tufts. In 1953, she married Robert Noyce and became Elizabeth Noyce. Robert Noyce received his PhD in 1953; he would become general manager of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel Corporation.[1]

The couple moved to California where Nobel laureate William Shockley had started Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory in Mountain View, California in 1956. Robert Noyce was one of the "traitorous eight" who left Shockley in 1957 and started Fairchild Semiconductor. Fairchild's Robert Noyce and Texas Instruments' Jack Kilby are credited with inventing the integrated circuit. In 1968, Robert Noyce and Gordon E. Moore started Intel Corporation in Mountain View (later moving to Santa Clara, California in 1971). Intel became a huge financial success; it developed the first commercially available dynamic RAM (i1103), the first EPROM (i1702), and the first commercially available microprocessor (i4004).

During this time, the couple lived in Los Altos, California. They had four children: William B., Pendred, Priscilla, and Margaret. Elizabeth loved New England, so the family acquired a 50-acre coastal summer home in Bremen, Maine. Elizabeth and the children would summer there.[2] Robert would visit during the summer, but he continued working at Intel during the summer.

Robert started an extramarital affair with an attractive, intelligent, 28-year old, self-sufficient, divorced mother of three, Intel mask designer, Barbara Maness; the affair was an "open secret" at Intel.[3] After Elizabeth learned of the affair, the marriage ended in divorce.[when?] Elizabeth received half of the couple's assets under California's community property law.[1] Robert later married Ann Bowers, Intel's head of personnel.[4]

Elizabeth then took up residence at the Maine summer home. She became the area's leading philanthropist and art collector. Among other major gifts, she founded the Libra Foundation.[1]

Elizabeth Noyce had smoked cigarettes. She died from emphysema on September 18, 1996, age 65, at her Bremen home in Lincoln County, Maine.[1][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Elizabeth B. Noyce, 65, Benefactor of Maine With Vast Settlement From Her Divorce". The New York Times. September 20, 1996. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ Berlin, Leslie (2005). The Man behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516343-5. , pp. [page needed]
  3. ^ Berlin 2005, pp. 200–204
  4. ^ Berlin 2005, p. 230
  5. ^ Bangor Daily News. 24 September 1996 http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2457&dat=19960924&id=mCpfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Ek8NAAAAIBAJ&pg=3958,2051453 |url= missing title (help). 

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