Black Inventors and Innovators - Otis Boykin


Otis F. Boykin was born on August 29, 1920 in Dallas, Texas and died of heart failure in 1982 in Chicago, Illinois. Boykin’s father was a carpenter and his mother was a homemaker. After high school Boykin attended Fisk College and then took a job as a laboratory assistant and shortly after that took another job as a research engineer.  These two jobs helped him to focus on his talents.  Boykin would start his own business while he continued his education. Boykin’s tried to receive his Master’s Degree but did not have the funding necessary to finish college. Boykin soon realized that a Master’s Degree was not necessary for him to do what he wanted to do; create inventions.

Even though Boykin had to drop out of college he was still determined to move forward. Immediately Boykin started focusing on his inventions focusing on primary interest; working on resistors. Resistors slow the flow of an electrical current to prevent too much electricity from passing through a device. Boykin’s first patent was for a wire precision resistor for use in radios and televisions. Shortly after that Boykin created another resistor that was less costly and more resistant and tolerant. This creation was in very high demand and Boykin received orders from IBM and the United States Military.

Boykin continued to make different types of electronic devices; he created resistors for computers and even guided missile systems.  Boykin had over 25 inventions including a chemical air filter and a burglarproof cash register.  Boykin is most famous for his control unit for the pacemaker. Boykin’s control unit used electrical impulses to maintain a regular heartbeat.    

It is ironic that Boykin is most famous for his pacemaker device since he died in 1982 of heart failure.

Boykin was a true innovator showing that even though he had to drop out of school he never lost sight of his main goal and desire in life to be an inventor. Boykin was an inventor with inventions that have changed the world.


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Comments 6 comments

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

I had never heard of Boykin before. Thanks for the interesting Hub.

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 5 years ago from West Coast Author

He was a very interesting man. Thanks for you comments Suziecat!

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Wow, this is amazing. Thank you for bringing to our attention.

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 5 years ago from West Coast Author

Thank you Hello!

otis boykin 4 years ago

what does a pacemaker do

Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 4 years ago from West Coast Author

otis - A pacemaker is a device that helps to regulate irregular heart rhythms

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