Otis Boykin was born in August 1920 in Dallas, Texas. He attended Fisk College in Nashville, Tenn, and the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.
In 1959, Boykin earned his first patent for a wire precision resistor. Wire resistors are a type of resistor used commonly in computers, radios, military missiles and a variety of other electronic devices. Many of his resistors were used in many IBM computers and today used in many electronic devices like your phone, tablet, computer and even some household items.
Alongside creating the resistor, Boykin’s most famous invention was the electrical control unit used in a pacemaker—a device that uses electrical impulses to maintain a steady and healthy heartbeat. Pacemakers are commonly used today to help aide aging hearts, heart disease and atrial fibrillation.
Other inventions by Boykin included a burglarproof cash register and a chemical air filter.
Before he died, he had 28 patents to his name.