One of the most interesting facts about Martin Cooper is that he created the first handheld mobile phone. Another interesting fact is that he was the first person to make a phone call with a handheld mobile phone in public.
When he worked at Motorola's communications systems division in the 1970s, Cooper came up with the idea of a handheld mobile phone. Unlike car phones in existence at the time, Cooper wanted the device to be truly mobile and not dependent on a specific place.
He oversaw its development, and when it was ready, he experimented with it by placing the first call outdoors in New York City. This first mobile cell phone weighed 30 ounces, and passers-by were stunned to see a man walking around while talking on a phone, as neither cordless nor wireless cell phones were in existence at that time. To receive the signal, Motorola placed a base station on top of a building.
Although his first call was to Bell Labs, Motorola's competitor, Cooper made several phone calls that day. Ten years later, his 16-ounce DynaTAC phone was available to the consumer at a cost of $3,500.
After leaving Motorola, Cooper founded ArrayComm in 1992, continuing his work in wireless technology.