Narinder S. Kapany, ‘Father of Fiber Optics,’ Dies at 94

By | January 7, 2021
Narinder S. Kapany, ‘Father of Fiber Optics,’ Dies at 94

Narinder S. Kapany, ‘Father of Fiber Optics,’ Dies at 94

However Dr. Kapany was rising stressed in academia, and in 1960 he moved his household to California to begin a brand new firm, Optics Expertise, to commercialize his analysis. He primarily based it in Palo Alto, then simply rising as a tech hub, and acquired funding from Draper, Gaither & Anderson, one of many first venture-capital companies on the West Coast.

As president and chief of analysis on the firm, Dr. Kapany was targeted on product growth; to run the enterprise facet, the board employed Thomas J. Perkins, a younger enterprise government who would go on to change into a Silicon Valley eminence as co-founder of the enterprise capital agency Kleiner Perkins.

As soon as once more, Dr. Kapany labored intently with a equally forceful character, and as soon as once more there have been fireworks. The 2 males’s epic, generally alcohol-fueled fights have been ostensibly about the place to take the corporate, whether or not to maneuver merchandise to market rapidly — Mr. Perkins’s plan — or to give attention to government-funded analysis and growth.

However there was clearly one thing deeper and extra elementary about their antagonism. It was “a mutual hate for one another of close to biblical proportions,” Mr. Perkins later wrote. “I advised anybody who would hear that I needed engraved on my tombstone, ‘I nonetheless hate him.’”

Mr. Perkins ultimately demanded that the board select between them. They selected Dr. Kapany.

Dr. Kapany took the corporate public in 1967, but it surely was already sinking below the load of poor gross sales and a strained finances. He left that very same 12 months and, in 1973, based a brand new firm, Kaptron, which made fiber optics gear and which he later bought. He based one more firm, K2 Optronics, together with his son in 1999.

At the same time as he stuffed out his profession as a serial entrepreneur, Dr. Kapany by no means totally left academia: He taught on the College of California, Santa Cruz, from 1977 to 1983, and he later endowed chairs at a number of College of California colleges in optics and in Sikh research.

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