RIP Eric Lidow

ELECTRONICS pioneer and co-founder of International Rectifier Eric Lidow died on 18 January 2013 at the age of 100.

Lidow was born on 22 December 1912 in Vilnus, Lithuania. He completed his Masters Degree at the Technical University of Berlin, then fled Germany to arrive in New York in October 1937.

In 1939, Lidow moved to Los Angeles and started Selenium Corporation of America, his first semiconductor company.

The company provided advanced power electronics to the American war effort, and was sold to Sperry Corporation in 1946.

In 1946, Lidow located his parents, who had survived the Holocaust, and brought them to the US. He started International Rectifier with his father. The company started by making selenium photoelectric cells and rectifiers.

He remained CEO of the company until 1995, and Chairman of the Board until 2008.

International Rectifier pioneered many advances in Power Electronics, and was a key player in the international establishment of the semiconductor market, having joint ventures in Europe and Japan in the 1950s, before going to India and China in the 1960s and early 1980s.

The company built a solar powered car in the 1950s, with a 10,000 cell panel on the roof of a 1912 Baker Electric car.

Lidow had two sons, Derek and Alex. Alex served as a long-time CEO for International Rectifier, while Derek was also CEO at the company, and later founded iSuppli (now IHS iSuppli). Lidow is also survived by another son, Alan and his daughter Melodie, as well as nine grandchildren.