Harold Dean "Jim" Sayles

Oct. 16, 2017

Harold Dean "Jim" Sayles (BS ELEC EGR ’58), Cornelius, North Carolina, died Oct. 9, 2017, in Charlotte, N.C. He was 84. 

He was born in Stroh, Indiana, on Dec. 26, 1932, to Berne Alton Sayles and Dorothy Iverne Graham Sayles.

He grew up in Albion, Michigan, and overcame a childhood bout of polio that instilled a strength in him throughout life. At Washington Gardner High School, he lettered in multiple sports, was quarterback and co-captain of the football team. 

After graduating from high school in 1950, he enlisted and served three years in the U.S. Army and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from MSU on the G.I. Bill, and started a family.

During his 40-year career as a signal processing and radar expert at Bell Laboratories, he worked on several landmark technology milestones, including the first electronic telecommunications satellite (Telstar), the first ICBM missile defense system, and the first commercial digital cellular telephone network (Can you hear me now?). 

Memorials can be sent to the National Kidney Foundation, Jim Sayles Memorial Fund.


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