Galvin took over the company back in 1959, when he took it over from his father, Paul Galvin. At that time, Motorola had sales of about $290 million. During his time Galvin is credited with, for all intents and purposes, creating the cell phone industry as we know it today. In fact, things such as flip-phones and cell phones that fit in your pocket might not exist were it not for his leadership and vision. When he stepped down as CEO at in 1990, the company was worth more than $10 billion.
According to media reports, Galvin and Motorola introduced the world to the first cellular phone all the way back in 1973. It was a large prototype compared to the cell phones used today. Back then, the phone was called DynaTAC. Galvin was still on the board when Motorola introduced its famous StarTAC phone that became all the rage in the mid-90s.
When Galvin stepped down he was succeeded by his son Christopher back in 1997. Christopher served as CEO until he was tossed out in 2003.
Galvin did not remain silent during his retirement. Instead, he turned his attention to other things, such as infrastructure. He formed two think tanks that were devoted to improving electricity and public transportation. Galvin also served on the board of the Illinois Institute of Technology and he served there for more than a decade.
Motorola continues to be a dominant force in the world of cellular communication. It eventually helped create the Droid phone which as become one of the most popular smartphones on the market. Just last year Motorola split into two divisions, both still based near Chicago, in Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions. Just this year the Mobility division was bought out by Google.