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Biographical Memoirs, Volume 85
C. CHAPIN CUTLER
December 16, 1914–December 1, 2002
BY PING KING TIEN
THE ECONOMY WAS IN a depression between 1929 and 1934, and the country went to World War II between 1941 and 1945. C. Chapin Cutler built his character and his strength in those chaotic years. He led a successful career of research in communication science for more than four decades. His inventions in radio, radar, signal coding, imaging, and satellite communications earned him more than 80 patents, numerous awards, and a worldwide reputation. Shortly after he received the Alexander Graham Bell Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Cutler said in the spring 1992 issue of the WPI Journal, “I don’t think I’m really that smart. I just think my imagination got turned on at an early age and that gave me tremendous motivation.”
Cassius Chapin Cutler was born on December 16, 1914, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was the son of the late Paul A. and Myra (Chapin) Cutler. He was raised in a small town environment and was educated in the public school systems of western Massachusetts. His resourcefulness and ingenuity had their roots in his youth and later in his education at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
In 1929, radio was very popular with young people. At age 14 Cutler played with elementary crystal receivers and