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CEO Andrew Grove, Who Led Intel To Silicon Chip Dominance, Dies

Andrew Grove, former CEO of Intel Corp., pictured in 2008. He died Monday at 79.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Andrew Grove, former CEO of Intel Corp., pictured in 2008. He died Monday at 79.

Andrew Grove, one of the most influential figures in Silicon Valley, who led Intel Corp. through the rise from a startup to a chip giant, died on Tuesday at the age of 79.

Intel confirmed the news of his death, saying that Grove played a key role in the move from memory chips to microprocessors, turning the company into the dominant brand that it is today as the chips helped ring in the age of the personal computer — and later finding their way into a wide variety of digital electronics like cameras, phones and home appliances.

Grove "combined the analytic approach of a scientist with an ability to engage others in honest and deep conversation, which sustained Intel's success over a period that saw the rise of the personal computer, the Internet and Silicon Valley," Intel Chairman Andy Bryant said in a statement.

Here's how Fresh Air described Grove in 1996:

"Grove was born in Hungary and emigrated to the United States in 1956. He spoke very little English when he arrived. By 1960, Grove had received a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from the City College of New York and in 1963, he received his Ph.D from the University of California, at Berkeley. Grove participated in the founding of Intel and became its president in 1979 and chief executive in 1987. He has written several articles and books, his newest book 'Only the Paranoid Survive' reveals some of the philosophy and strategy behind his success."

Grove's move, in fact, was an amazing personal story, detailed by the Venture Beat:

"As András Gróf growing up in Budapest, Hungary, Grove was born on September 2, 1936. He was nearly killed at age 4 when he contracted scarlet fever, and it gave him a life-long hearing disability. ...

When he was eight, the Nazis occupied Hungary and deported nearly 500,000 Jews to concentration camps. His mother took on a false identity and was saved by friends. His father was taken to a labor camp. ... Grove revealed this early history of his life in an interview with Time magazine, when he was named Man of the Year in 1997.

During the Hungarian Revolution, when he was 20 years old, he decided to flee across the Iron Curtain to Austria. He said he had to crawl through the mud across the border. He made his way to the United States in 1957, and he changed his name to Andrew S. Grove."

And, according to the Business Insider, Steve Jobs used to call Grove his mentor, while Marc Andreessen often says that Grove's the man who built Silicon Valley.

Grove and his wife, Eva, were married for 58 years and had two daughters and eight grandchildren, according to Intel.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alina Selyukh is a business correspondent at NPR, where she follows the path of the retail and tech industries, tracking how America's biggest companies are influencing the way we spend our time, money, and energy.