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Posted on February 16, 2007 at 7:44 pm

Inventor of TV Remote Control Dies at Age 93

Friday, February 16, 2007


BOISE, Idaho — Hit the mute button for a moment of silence: The co-inventor of the TV remote has died.

Robert Adler, who won an Emmy Award along with fellow engineer Eugene Polley for the device that made couch potatoship possible, died Thursday of heart failure at a Boise nursing home at 93, Zenith Electronics Corp. said Friday.

In his six-decade career with Zenith, Adler was a prolific inventor, earning more than 180 U.S. patents. He was best known for his 1956 Zenith Space Command remote control, which helped make TV a truly sedentary pastime.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded Adler and co-inventor Polley, another Zenith engineer, an Emmy in 1997 for the landmark invention.

Adler joined Zenith's research division in 1941 after earning a doctorate in physics from the University of Vienna. He retired as research vice president in 1979, and served as a technical consultant until 1999, when Zenith merged with LG Electronics Inc.