Uncas A. Whitaker
Uncas Aeneas Whitaker (b. March 22, 1900 in Lincoln, Kansas; d. September 1975 in Maine) was raised in Missouri. He was a prominent mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, lawyer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He received a mechanical engineering degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an electrical engineering degree from Carnegie Institute of Technology and a law degree from the Cleveland Law School. At the age of 41, he founded Aircraft-Marine Products, AMP Incorporated, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which would become the world's largest manufacturer of electrical devices and connectors. His company was instrumental in the development of miniature components and advanced computer technologies which have been incorporated into literally thousands of business operations and commercial products.
When Whitaker died in 1975, he left part of his fortune for a foundation to improve people's lives primarily by supporting Biomedical engineering research and education. Money provided for the Whitaker Foundation by Whitaker and his wife, Helen Whitaker, totaled $120 million. In 1994, the foundation was the sixty-first largest foundation in the United States with assets of $340 million and annual expenditures of $26 million.
During his lifetime, Whitaker also created a philanthropic program to improve the quality of life in the Harrisburg area, AMP's home community. Today the Harrisburg-area Regional Program continues this initiative.
Notable things named after U. A. Whitaker include:
- Whitaker Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, San Diego
- The Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
- Building at the Georgia Institute of Technology housing the Wallace H. Coulter Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, dedicated 2002.
- Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, dedicated 2000.
- U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University, located in Fort Myers, Florida.
- Uncas A. and Helen F. Whitaker Building for the Life Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Uncas A. Whitaker Hall for Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.
- Anthony Hallett, Diane Hallett, Entrepreneur Magazine Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurs, 1997: John Wiley and Sons, pp. 286-287 (ISBN: 0471175366)
- "20th Century Great American Business Leaders". Harvard Business School. 2004. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
- "About the Whitaker Foundation" (Press release). Whitaker Foundation 1998 Annual Report. 1999. Retrieved 2007-01-05.