Hopefully you'll never need one, but if there ever comes a time that you might have to get a pacemaker, you can thank black inventor Otis Boykin for inventing the control unit that runs it.  If you have one, I'm sure your thanking him already. 


Today we salute Otis Frank , born in 1920 in Dallas, Texas.  His father was a carpenter and his mother was a homemaker.  After graduating high school, he attended Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee and later the Illinois Institute of Technology in Illinois.  Unfortunately though, he would have to drop out two years later because his parents just couldn't afford the tuition.

Otis Boykin is best known for inventing an improved electrical resistor used in computers, radios, television sets and a variety of electronic devices.  His resistor helped reduce the cost of those products too.  Two years later, he created a breakthrough device that could withstand extreme changes in temperature and pressure, a variable resistor used in guided missile parts.  The device, which was cheaper and more reliable than others on the market, came in great demand by the United States military and IBM.  Otis also invented a control unit for the pacemaker, a burglar-proof cash register and a chemical air filter.   In total, Otis Boykin patented twenty-eight electronic devices.

Sadly and ironically, Otis Boykin died of a heart failure in Chicago in 1982.


In 1872 Alcorn A&M Opened.  In 1926, Carter G Woodson created Negro History Week. It would later become Black History Month in 1976.  Finally, on this day in 1967, comedian, author, recording artist, actor and talk show host Chris Rock was born in South Carolina.


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