Photo of Eli Harari

Eli Harari

  • National Medal of Technology and Innovation
  • Hardware

For invention and commercialization of Flash storage technology to enable ubiquitous data in consumer electronics, mobile computing, and enterprise storage.

Eli Harari on being inspired by President Kennedy

Big things really do come in small packages. Just ask Eli Harari, the founder and retired chairman and CEO of SanDisk Corporation, a global company that designs, develops and manufactures flash memory storage devices and software.

Harari began developing flash memory for the storage of multimedia content more than 25 years ago, when the idea of building such a device seemed far-fetched. Not only did it need to be nonvolatile and sturdy, but it also needed to be affordable at a time when just one megabyte of memory cost $50 and one digital photo required four of them.

Despite the hurdles, Harari pressed on, investing countless hours and dollars into researching and building a precise production operation. Within the next quarter of a century, his dedication and entrepreneurial spirit resulted in the development of 16 generations of technology and enabled us to store our greatest memories—in the form of digital documents, photographs, videos and the like—at a fraction of the cost.

By Sydni Dunn