Charles Ginsburg

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Charles Ginsburg
Born(1920-07-27)July 27, 1920
DiedApril 9, 1992(1992-04-09) (aged 71)
Alma materSan Jose State University
Known forDeveloper of first videotape recorder

Charles Paulson Ginsburg (July 27, 1920 – April 9, 1992) was an American engineer and the leader of a research team at Ampex which developed one of the first practical videotape recorders.[1]


Ginsburg was born on July 27, 1920 in San Francisco, California. At age four, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.[2] He attended Lowell High School in San Francisco.[2]

Ginsburg earned a bachelor's degree from San Jose State University in 1948. He worked as an engineer at AM-radio station KQW (now KCBS). He joined Ampex in 1951, and remained there until his retirement in 1986, holding the title Vice President of Advanced Technology.[3] The engineering team that helped created the videotape recorder while working for Ampex under his direction were Charles Andersen, Ray Dolby, Shelby Henderson, Fred Pfost, and Alex Maxey.

Ginsburg was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1973, being cited for invention and pioneering development of video magnetic tape recording for instant playback.[2]

He died on April 9, 1992 in Eugene, Oregon of pneumonia.[4]

Honors and Awards[edit]

US Patents[edit]


  1. ^ "Group photo including Ginsburg and his team". Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Hammar, Peter (1994). "Memorial Tribute: Charles Ginsburg". Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. p. 84. Archived from the original on September 27, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Charles Ginsburg". Consumer Electronics Association. 2000. Archived from the original on 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
  4. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (April 17, 1992). "Charles P. Ginsburg, 71, Leader In Developing Video Recording". The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  5. ^ "List of IEEE Vladimir K. Zworykin Award recipients". Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  6. ^ Short bio Archived November 23, 2005, at the Wayback Machine