Inductee Profile

Evelyn Berezin

Evelyn Berezin founded the first word-processor company. In 1951, She left New York University graduate school, where she had been working toward a Ph.D. in physics, to join Electronic Computer Corporation, which was later purchased by Underwood Corporation to become its Elecom Division.

Berezin started as a logic designer and, in time, headed the company’s logic design department. When Underwood folded in 1957, Evelyn joined Teleregister, where she designed several online real-time systems, including the world's first online airline-reservation system, which went to United Airlines. Not quite a dozen years later, in 1968, she joined Digitronics, a small company founded by a group of senior former-Underwood people. It was around then that she had her brainstorm: the word processor for everyday documents such as ordinary letters.

A year later, in 1969, Evelyn founded Redactron, the first company devoted exclusively to word processors. Starting from scratch, she was able to use the latest technology of that time to develop her idea. This included 13 MOS chips, some of them designed by General Instrument, some designed by a young company, Standard Microsystems, and some designed by Redactron itself. One of the chips was actually a very simple microprocessor. The daddy of commercial microprocessors, Intel's 4004, was introduced in 1971, the year Redactron's word processor started shipping. Redactron was sold to Burroughs (now Unisys) in 1976 and Ms. Berezin continued with that company until 1980.

From 1980 to 1987, Ms. Berezin was President of Greenhouse Management Company, the General Partner of a group of venture capital funds totaling $20 million and dedicated to early stage, high technology companies. She has received honorary doctorates from Adelphi University and Eastern Michigan University. Ms. Berezin is a Director of IntelliCheck Inc. and has served on the Boards of CIGNA, Standard MEMS, Koppers and Datapoint. She is on the Board of the Stony Brook Foundation of Stony Brook University, the Brookhaven National Laboratories, and the Boyce Thompson Institute.