Present The


Washington Award Dinner


Inventors of VisiCalc, the first computer spreadsheet software program

Keynote Speakers and Honorees

For their invention of the first computer spreadsheet software program, which led to the proliferation of the computer industry, which in turn led to the economic expansion of the late 20th century.

Thursday, February 22, 2001
The Union League Club of Chicago

2001 Dan Bricklin
Bob Frankston
2000 Donna Shirley
1999 JackS. Kilby
1998 John R. Conrad
1997 Frank Kreith
1996 Wilson Greatbatch
1995 George W. Housner
1994 Kenneth H. Olson
1993 William States Lee
1992 Leon M. Lederman
1991 Frank Borman
1990 John H. Sununu
1989 Sherwood L. Fawcett
1988 James McDonald
1987 Grace Murray Hopper
1986 Mark Shepherd, Jr.
1985 Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr.
1984 Robert W. Galvin
1983 John Bardeen
1982 Manson Benedict
1981 John E. Swearingen
1980 Neil A. Armstrong
1979 Marvin Camras
1978 Dixy Lee Ray
1977 Michael Tenenbaum
1976 Ralph B. Peck
1975 David Packard
1974 John D. deButts
1973 John A. VolIe
1972 Thomas Otten Paine
1971 William L. Everitt
1970 H.G. Rickover
1969 Nathan M. Newmark
1968 James B. Fisk
1967 Frederick Lawson Hovde
1966 Augustus Braun Kinzel
1965 Glenn Theodore Seaborg
1964 John Slezak
1963 Philip Sporn
1962 Alexander C. Monteith
1961 William V. Kahler
1960 Herbert Payne Sedwick
1959 James R. Killian, Jr.
1958 Ben Moreell
1957 Walker Lee Cisler
1956 Robert E. Wilson
1955 Charles Erwin Wilson
1954 Lillian Moller Gilbreth
1953 Gustav Egloff
1952 Henry Townley Heald
1951 Edwin Howard Armstrong
1950 Wilfred Sykes
1949 John Lucian Savage
1948 Ralph Edward Flanders
1947 Karl Taylor Compton
1946 Vannevar Bush
1945 Arthur Holly Compton
1944 Henry Ford
1943 Andrey Abraham Potter
1942 William Lamont Abbott
1941 Ralph Budd
1940 Daniel Cowan Jackling
1939 Daniel Webster Mead
1938 Frank Baldwin Jewett
1937 Frederick Gardner Cottrell
1936 Charles Franklin Kettering
1935 Ambrose Swasey
1932 William David
1931 Ralph Modjeski
1930 Mortimer Elwyn Cooley
1929 Bion Joseph Arnold
1928 Michael Idvorsky Pupin
1927 Orville Wright
1926 John Watson Alvord
1925 Jonas Waldo Smith
1924 Arthur N. Talbot
1922 Robert W. Hunt
1919 Herbert C. Hoover
Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston came up with the idea of a computerized spreadsheet program in 1977. At the time, Mr. Bricklin, a then-Harvard MBA student realized that a visible, interactive spreadsheet would be more efficient than a manual one. A year later, the software program was complete and the two inventors formed a company called Software Arts, Inc. By late 1979, it was retailing for $100; by mid-1982 over 400,000 copies had been sold.

VisiCalc's success can be measured in more than just sales figures. It was one of the first applications that could be run on a personal computer, which helped establish the PC as a legitimate tool for the average consumer or business user. In the late l970s, the software was instrumental in transforming hardware manufacturers such as Apple, IBM and Hewlett Packard into dominant industry players.

After the success of VisiCalc, the software industry exploded with the proliferation of software programs, including other spreadsheets. The rapidly expanding computer industry created hundreds of new high tech positions and fueled the rise of entrepreneurialism in the mid- to late- 1980s.

In 1985, Lotus Software purchased Software Arts. Since that time, Mr. Bricklin founded a number of technology-based companies including Trellix Corporation in 1995, where he currently serves as Chief Technology Officer. He received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering/computer science from MIT in 1973 and an MBA from Harvard University in 1979.

Bob Frankston worked for Microsoft from 1993-1998. Previously, he worked with Mr. Bricklin at Slate Corporation from 1990-1992. Prior to that, he was with Lotus. Mr. Frankston received SB degrees in both computer science and mathematics in 1970. He received Masterís and engineerís degrees in computer science and electrical engineering in 1974.