Felix Zandman (1928? - 4 June 2011)
Felix Zandman was born in 1928 (some sources say 1927) to a Jewish family in the Polish city of Grodno. Zandman survived the Holocaust by hiding with family members under the floor boards in the house of a Polish family for 17 months. While in hiding, Zandman’s uncle taught him trigonometry and higher mathematics. Following the war, in 1946, Zandman emigrated to France, where he earned a mechanical engineering degree and MS in physics from the University of Nancy (France) and a PhD in physics from the University of Paris, Sorbonne.
In 1956, Zandman moved to the United States and began working for Tatnall Measuring Systems in Philadelphia as director of basic research. During this time he developed pioneering photelasticity measurement instruments and temperature-resistant resistors, which enable manufacturers of a wide assortment of precision products to upgrade their performance. When Tatnall declined to market his temperature-resistant resistors, Zandman, with financial support from his uncle Alfred P. Slaner, founded Vishay. The Company was named after a village in Lithuania where relatives of Dr. Zandman had perished during the Holocaust.
Zandman published numerous scientific papers, three textbooks, and an autobiography and held over 70 patents. He won numerous awards including the Best Strategic Investor Award from the Israel Manufacturers Association (awarded by the President of Israel); the Legion of Honor, France (awarded by the President of the Republic of France); the Order of Merit for Research and Invention (France); the Franklin Institute Medal for Science (USA); the Electronic Industries Alliance Medal of Honor (presented at a ceremony attended by the President of the United States); and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Electronic Distributors Association. He was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Beer Sheva (Israel) and from the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion).