Photo of M. George Craford

M. George Craford

  • National Medal of Technology and Innovation
  • Electronics

For contributions to the development and commercialization of light-emitting diode (LED) technology, with applications to digital displays, consumer electronics, automotive lighting, traffic signals, and general illumination.

Dr. M. George Craford lights up the world. A decade of work led him to the breakthrough invention of the first yellow, red and red-orange Light Emitting Diodes, LED lights.

Dr. Craford’s pioneering discoveries culminated in the 70s as he began his career at the Monsanto Chemical Company, leading the development of high performance nitrogen-doped GaAsP technology LED technology. He would go on to optimize LED technology at Hewlett Packard’s Optoelectronic Division utilizing quaternary compounds.

In 1999, as Chief Technology Officer of the Philips Lumileds Lighting Company, Dr. Craford would help develop high-power white LEDs we see everywhere today for general illumination. Leading the development of LEDs for 50 years, his legacy has influenced lighting uses around the world, including traffic lights and automobile headlights.

Regarded as the spark at the forefront of LED technology, he was elected to the University of Illinois Engineering Hall of Fame in 2014.

By Melissa Ayala