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Alexander Graham Bell

Inventor and Educator (1847-1922) 

Born: March 3, 1847. Died: Aug. 2, 1922. 

Patented the telephone in 1876 at the age of 29. Born in Scotland to a family keenly interested in speech and music. Bell's father taught deaf people to speak using a code of symbols he'd developed. In 1870, after Bell's two brothers died of tuberculosis, the family moved to Canada. Bell became a professor of vocal physiology at Boston University. In 1877, he married Mabel Hubbard, whose deafness is credited with spurring Bell's work. In 1880, France awarded him the Volta Prize, and Bell used the money to start the Volta Laboratory, which did research for the deaf. In later decades he experimented in flight and developed a precursor to X-rays. In 1882, he became a U.S. citizen. Six years later, he helped found the National Geographic Society.