1991 – Hewlett Speeches

Box 3, Folder 53 – General Speeches


December 17, 1991 – Egon Loebner Book Reception, Palo Alto, CA


12/17/91, Copy of Hewlett’s comments on the occasion of the “Book Reception” for Egon Loebner who died December 30, 1989.


Hewlett says “It is hard to give a tribute to Egon Loebner that has not already been given.  He was of such a magnificent mind that he stimulated all round him. He was one of the most prolific men that I have had the pleasure to know.”


Hewlett calls Loebner the “father” of HP’s optoelectronics program,


On leave to the U.S. Government, Hewlett tells how Loebner was appointed to the USSR as Attache for Science and Technology, overseeing some 1300 joint research projects between the USSR and the U.S. To keep track of all these projects he turned to computer data base management. And when he returned to HP he changed to the field of computers and information management.


“While working half-time at HP,” Hewlett says Loebner “took eight computer courses at Stanford. He became interested in neutral networks and did a scholarly paper on the subject for the IEEE.”


Hewlett tells how, in 1985 Loebner was diagnosed as having a rare form of Epithelial cancer. He says “Not much was known about the disease and I remember Egon coming into my office saying that he was dissatisfied with the lack of knowledge and intended to study what was known about the disease and ultimately he devised his down regimen of treatment. I think he was the only patient ever to get invited to lecture on his illness to doctors at the Stanford Medical Hospital.


“In his lifetime, he published 50 papers in bionics, biophysics, chemistry, cognitive science, computational linguistics, electronics, human factors, information displays, materials science, optics, physics and telecommunications.”


Hewlett quotes from a recent letter Egon wrote to ‘My friends at HP,’ wherin he commented ‘I have not always seen eye to eye…with those management policies that in my view departed significantly from the spirit of what I understood to be the HP Way….’ And finishes with ‘It has been a privilege being part of our HP family. I am sure that many of you will try to ensure it remains as long as possible the special place it has been for 50 years.’’


10/25/91, Copy of a letter from Eugenie Prime to Joel Birnbaum, HP Lab Director. The letter initiates plans for a tribute to Egon Loebner.

12/12/91, Letter from Lorine Hall to Mollie Yoshshizumi, summarizing plans for the “book reception.” Copies of biographical articles about Egon are enclosed.

12/17/91, Copy of the invitation to join “HP Labs in celebrating the publication of The Selected Papers of Egon Loebner.”

12/20/91, Copy of a letter from Cheryl Ritchie to Frank Carrubba saying they are planning to publicize the letter Loebner wrote “to his friends” at HP. A copy of the full text of Egon’s letter is enclosed, along with a note from Dave Packard saying it should be printed in Measure.

Undated, Copy of a story of his release from Auschwitz, written by Egon Loebner.

12/17/91, Copy of a tribute given by HP Lab Director Frank Carrubba.

Undated, copy of an unsigned tribute

2/26/90, Copy of a tribute from “EGLY”

2/16/90, Copy of tribute from Paul Greene

8/15/48, Copy of a letter to Loebner from Albert Einstein apparently in response to a letter from Loebner discussing career alternatives