Simon “Si” Ramo, who graduated from the University of Utah in engineering more than 80 years ago, became the oldest person to receive a patent when he was awarded one last year at the age of 100 for his computer-based learning invention.

The gig: Simon “Si” Ramo helped lead the Cold War development of the intercontinental ballistic missile, which could send a nuclear warhead thousands of miles. The aerospace pioneer co-founded two Fortune 500 companies, including TRW Inc., for which he built a sprawling campus in Redondo Beach known as Space Park. There, engineers invented rocket-destroying lasers, a robotic space probe to Jupiter known as Pioneer 10, and engines for the Apollo moon-landing missions. Ramo has received dozens of awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His name appears on dozens of patents. Last year, at age 100, he received Patent #8606170B2 for a computer-based learning invention — becoming the oldest person ever to receive a patent.

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