deForestCredited with being the “father of Ameri­can radio.” DeForest was a direct competitor to Marconi at the turn of the century (1899), when he was the chief scien­tist at the U.S.’s first radio firm- American Wireless Tele­phone and Telegraph- until Marconi took over the com­pany’s assets in 1912 after a series of financial scandals. Although he held 300 patents, DeForest’s greatest techno­logical contribution is considered to be his 1906 “Audion” vacuum tube.