Irving Gabelman was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., USA. Dr. Gabelman grew up during the Depression years. He earned a B.S. in physics from Brooklyn College in 1938. He then earned a B.S. from the College of the City of New York in 1945, an M.S. in 1948 from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, and in 1961 he was awarded a Ph.D. from Syracuse University, all in electrical engineering.
He served in the U.S. Army Engineering Office in New York City from 1941-45, and later joined Watson laboratories of the U.S. Air Force in Eatontown, NJ as an electronics engineer. He remained with Watson and its successor, Rome Air Development Center (RADC) of Griffiss Air Force Base, Rome, N.V. until his retirement in 1975. In 1971 he was appointed as chief scientist, the highest position a civilian could attain at RADC. After retirement he continued as president of Technical Associates, his own consulting firm.
He traveled extensively in the U.S. and Europe, serving on various panels and committees for NATO and other organizations. He published numerous scientific papers and a book, "The New Engineer's Guide to Career Growth and Professional Awareness" (IEEE Press, 1996). His work in air traffic control, which earned him a patent, is still used today.
Gabelman died October 3rd, 1997.