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Oral history interview with Gordon E. Moore and Jay T. Last

  • 2006-Jan-20

Oral history interview with Gordon E. Moore and Jay T. Last

  • 2006-Jan-20

This oral history with Gordon T. Moore and Jay T. Last focuses on the years 1956 and 1957, during which time Moore and Last worked at Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory and Fairchild Semiconductor was founded. This transcript is about the life of ideas and the people who brought those ideas to fruition; Moore and Last reflect on their experiences during these years while flipping through an old notebook that documented various aspects of the meetings they had over an eighteen month period. In order to fully understand this oral history, the reader must consult the Supplement to Gordon E. Moore and Jay T. Last Oral History, oral history number 0327S, which is also part of the Chemical Heritage Foundation's collection. A copy of the supplement is included with a purchase of this oral history.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 140
  • 04:48:00
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

About the Interviewers

David C. Brock is a senior research fellow with the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. As a historian of science and technology, he specializes in the history of semiconductor science, technology, and industry; the history of instrumentation; and oral history. Brock has studied the philosophy, sociology, and history of science at Brown University, the University of Edinburgh, and Princeton University.In the policy arena Brock recently published Patterning the World: The Rise of Chemically Amplified Photoresists, a white-paper case study for the Center’s Studies in Materials Innovation. With Hyungsub Choi he is preparing an analysis of semiconductor technology roadmapping, having presented preliminary results at the 2009 meeting of the Industry Studies Association.

Christophe Lécuyer is a graduate of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and he received a PhD in history from Stanford University. He was a fellow of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology and has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and the University of Virginia. Before becoming a senior research fellow at CHF, Lécuyer was the program manager of the electronic materials department. He has published widely on the history of electronics, engineering education, and medical and scientific instruments, and is the author of Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930–1970 (2005).

Institutional location

Oral history number 0327

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Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

Moore, Gordon E.

  • January 03, 1929
  • San Francisco, California, United States
  • March 24, 2023
  • Waimea, Hawaii, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1950 University of California, Berkeley BS Chemistry
1954 California Institute of Technology PhD Physical Chemistry and Physics

Professional Experience

Johns Hopkins University. Applied Physics Laboratory

  • 1953 to 1956 Research Chemist, Physical Chemistry

Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory

  • 1956 to 1957 Member, Technical Staff

Fairchild (Firm)

  • 1957 Founder
  • 1957 to 1959 Director of Engineering
  • 1959 to 1968 Director of Research and Development

Intel Corporation

  • 1968 to 1975 Co-founder and Executive Vice-President
  • 1975 to 1979 President and Chief Executive Officer
  • 1979 to 1987 Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
  • 1987 to 1997 Chairman
  • 1997 to 2023 Chairman Emeritus


Year(s) Award
1975 Distinguished Alumni Award, California Institute of Technology
1978 Harry Goode Award, American Federation of Information Processing Society
1979 Frederik Philips Award, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
1980 Computer Society Pioneer Award, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
1988 Founders Award, National Academy of Engineering
1990 National Medal of Technology
1993 Medal of Achievement, American Electronics Association
1993 John Fritz Medal, American Association of Engineering Societies
1996 Excellence in Achievement, California Alumni Association
1996 Elected to Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans
1997 Founders Medal, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
1997 Alumnus of the Year, California Alumni Association
1998 Fellow Award, Computer History Museum
2000 D.L. (honorary), Princeton University
2000 D.Sc. (honorary), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2000 Lester Center Lifetime Achievement in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award
2000 PricewaterhouseCoopers Leadership Award for Lifetime Achievement, The Smithsonian Institution
2001 Othmer Gold Medal, Chemical Heritage Foundation
2001 Vollum Leadership Award, Oregon Graduate Institute School of Science and Engineering
2001 World Technology Awards: IT-Hardware
2001 Millikan Medal, California Institute of Technology
2002 Presidential Medal of Freedom
2002 Order of the Golden Ark, The Netherlands
2002 25th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award, Semiconductor Industry Association
2002 Bower Award for Business Leadership, Franklin Institute
2003 Elected Foreign Member of the Royal Society of Engineering (UK)
2003 L.H.D. (honorary), Johns Hopkins University
2004 Perkin Medal, Society of Chemical Industry
2005 Lifetime Achievement Award, Marconi Foundation at Columbia University

Last, Jay T.

  • October 18, 1929
  • Butler, Pennsylvania, United States
  • November 11, 2021
  • Los Angeles, California, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1951 University of Rochester BS Optics
1956 Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD Physics

Professional Experience

Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory

  • 1956 to 1957 Senior Technical Staff

Fairchild Semiconductor Research and Development Laboratories

  • 1957 to 1959 Senior Technical Staff; Co-Founder
  • 1959 to 1961 Head of Integrated Circuit Development

Amelco Corporation

  • 1961 to 1966 Director, Research and Development; Co-Founder

Teledyne Technologies, Inc.

  • 1966 to 1974 Vice President, Research and Development

Sierra Monitor Corporation

  • 1980 to 2005 Director

Archaeological Conservancy (U.S.)

  • 1980 to 2005 President

Hillcrest Press, Inc.

  • 1982 to 2005 President

Think Outside, Inc.

  • 1998 to 2005 Member, Board of Directors


Year(s) Award
1999 Hutchinson Medal, University of Rochester

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PDF — 447 KB

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

4 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads