Gordon Moore at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in 2005.

Science History Institute Remembers Board of Advisors Member Gordon Moore

The Intel cofounder passed away March 24, 2023, at the age of 94.

March 28, 2023

The Science History Institute mourns the loss of chemist Gordon E. Moore, the Intel Corporation cofounder who was a longtime member of our Board of Advisors. Called a “quiet revolutionary” by biographers, the computing technology pioneer passed away peacefully on March 24, 2023, at the age of 94.

In 1965 Moore predicted that the number of transistors that would fit on a computer chip would double every year, a concept that is known as Moore’s law. That observation—revised a decade later to roughly every two years—became a cornerstone principle of innovation and a driving force for the exponential pace of technological progress that is still accurate today. 

After earning a PhD in physical chemistry at Caltech in 1954, Moore conducted postdoctoral research in the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. He moved back to the West Coast in 1956 when he was offered a position by William Shockley, the coinventor of the transistor who had recently formed Shockley Semiconductor, the company that gave birth to California’s Silicon Valley.

Less than a year later, Moore and a group of other scientists and engineers left Shockley and formed Fairchild Semiconductor, a pioneer in the manufacturing of transistors and integrated circuits. Under Moore’s leadership, Fairchild made contributions to the development of the metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) field-effect transistor, the kind of transistor still used today as chip components.

In 1968 Moore and integrated circuit inventor Robert Noyce founded Intel Corporation, which would become the largest manufacturer of silicon microchips in the world. Moore began as Intel’s executive vice president and rose to become its CEO and chairman of the board.

Over the years he became an elder statesman for the semiconductor industry, founding organizations and making representations to government. In the late 1990s and 2000s, Moore and his wife, Betty, increasingly turned their attention to philanthropic pursuits, supporting scientific education and research and conservation of the environment through the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

In addition to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the IEEE Medal of Honor, and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) established the SCI Gordon E. Moore Medal in 2004 to recognize early-career success in innovation.

That same year, Moore received the SCI Perkin Medal, recognized as one of the highest honors in applied chemistry in the United States and presented during the Science History Institute’s annual Innovation Day. The National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee was also the recipient of the Institute’s 2001 Othmer Gold Medal and was included in our Scientists You Must Know video series.

More News

Fellows at work in the Othmer Library at the Institute.

Science History Institute Welcomes 2024–2025 Beckman Center Fellows

Our scholars study a wide range of topics in the history and social studies of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences.

people gathered outside at a festival

Color History, Dyeing Demos, Cyanotype Printing Draw Record-Setting Crowd at Institute’s 2nd Annual Curious Histories Fest

Science lovers of all ages explore every shade of the rainbow at ‘Color Your World’ celebration.


Science History Institute Launches ‘Voices of Science’ Oral History Video Project

Hear the stories of five scientists who faced personal, professional, and social challenges in their careers.


    Copy the above HTML to republish this content. We have formatted the material to follow our guidelines, which include our credit requirements. Please review our full list of guidelines for more information. By republishing this content, you agree to our republication requirements.