Evelyn Berezin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Evelyn Berezin
Born (1925-04-12) April 12, 1925 (age 90)
Education B.S. in physics, 1951
Alma mater New York University
Occupation Computer engineer, Physicist
Employer Electronic Computer Corporation
Known for Designing one of the first word processors; helping design some of the first computer reservations systems
Religion Judaism[1]
Spouse(s) Israel Wilenitz[2]
Awards Fellowship from the United States Atomic Energy Commission

Evelyn Berezin (born April 12, 1925) is an American computer designer best known for designing the first computer-driven word processor. She was also responsible for the first computer-controlled systems for airline reservations.[3]

Career and contributions[edit]

Berezin started university at Hunter College in January 1941, studying economics instead of the physics she preferred because it was preferred as a subject for women at that time. After WWII started, new opportunities made the study of physics possible with a scholarship at New York University, plus free classes at both Hunter and Brooklyn Polytech during the war years. At the same time, she worked full time during the day as an assistant in the Rheology Department of the Research Division of the International Printing Company (IPI). Going to university at night, she received her B.S. in physics in 1946.

She began graduate work at New York University, holding a fellowship from the United States Atomic Energy Commission. In 1951 she accepted a job with the Electronic Computer Corporation and began there as head of the Logic Design Department. Berezin was the only person doing the logic design for computers being developed by ECC. In 1957 ECC was purchased by Underwood Corporation (originally known as the Underwood Typewriter Company) . Here, she designed a number of computers which were very general in structure but individual in specific application. Among them was a system for the US Army for range calculations, a system for controlling the distribution of magazines, and also developed what is now considered the first office computer.[4]

The Underwood Typewriter Company was not able to continue the development beyond 1957, and Berezin went to a company called Teleregister where she developed the first computerized banking system and also an airline reservation system which controlled 60 cities in a communication system that provided 1 second response time.

In 1968, Berezin had the idea for a word processor to simplify the work of secretaries, and in 1969 she founded a word processor company, Redactron Corporation, which became a public company and delivered thousands of systems to customers throughout its international marketing organization. In the 1970’s, although the market continued strong the economy suffered a serious inflation, increasing interest rates to a level (16%) which was untenable for a business like Redactron which operated in a world in which equipment was rented. The Company was sold to the Burroughs Corporation, and integrated into its office equipment division. Berezin stayed on until 1979.

In 1980, Berezin served as President of Greenhouse Management Company, General Partner of a venture capital group dedicated to early stage high technology companies.

Throughout her career she has received honorary doctorates from Adelphi University and Eastern Michigan University. Berezin has also served on the Boards of CIGNA, Standard Microsystems, Koppers, and Datapoint.

Berezin is now retired. She has been on the Board of the Stony Brook Foundation at Stony Brook University, the Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Boyce Thompson Institute.[5]

Berezin established the Berezin-Wilenitz Endowment which will give the value of her estate to fund either a chair, professorship, or research fund at Stony Brook in any field of science as stated in her will and testament.[6] In addition to the endowment, Berezin and her late husband funded the Sam and Rose Berezin Endowed Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship that is awarded to an undergraduate student who plans to study in the field of science, engineering or mathematics, in honor of her parents. Berezin and Wilenitz also established the Israel Wilenitz Endowment, this provides discretionary funds to the Linguistics Department at Stony Brook University, where Wilenitz received a Master's Degree.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Berezin was married for 51 years to Israel Wilenitz, born in 1922 in London. Wilenitz died on February 20, 2003.[7] She currently resides in Setauket and has an apartment in New York City.[6]



  • Information Transfer Apparatus[9]
  • Electronic Data File Processor[10]
  • Information Transfer System[11]
  • On-Line Data Transfer Apparatus[12]
  • Electrical Assemblage[13]
  • Data Processing System[14]
  • Arithmetic Device[15]
  • Electronic Calculator with Dynamic Recirculating Storage Register[16]
  • Control means with Record Sensing for an Electronic Calculator[17]


  1. ^ "Why Is This Woman Not Famous?". 
  2. ^ Bailey, Martha J. (1998). American Women in Science: 1950 to the present: a biographical dictionary. ABC-CLIO. pp. 22–23. ISBN 0874369215. 
  3. ^ Wayne, Tiffany K. (2010). American Women of Science Since 1900. ABC-CLIO. p. 234. ISBN 9781598841589. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Evelyn Berezin". WITI Hall of Fame. Women in Technology International. 
  5. ^ "Sion Power". 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Donor Profiles". 
  7. ^ "Paid Notice:Deaths WILENITZ, ISRAEL". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ CHM. "Evelyn Berezin — CHM Fellow Award Winner". Retrieved March 27, 2015. [1]
  9. ^ "US3312945 A". 
  10. ^ "US3017610 A". 
  11. ^ "US3256514 A". 
  12. ^ "US3231865 A". 
  13. ^ "US3461552 A". 
  14. ^ "US2913176 A". 
  15. ^ "US2943790 A". 
  16. ^ "US3187167 A". 
  17. ^ "US2973141 A".