General Atomics’ Blue Brothers Get Inducted-And That’s a Good Thing

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startup companies. (The first to be inducted was Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs; followed by Cubic Corp. founder Walter Zable; VC firm Forward Ventures co-founder Ivor Royston; Idec founder William Rastetter; and SAIC founder J. Robert Beyster.)

The two brothers did not reveal many secrets, though, during a 30-minute interview that was part of the award ceremony. After graduating from Yale, the pair traveled the world, returned to their hometown of Denver, CO, and made their fortune in real estate and oil and gas projects, mostly in Canada. That was enough to finance their acquisition of General Atomics from Chevron in 1986. Here are a few other interesting morsels about their careers, and especially about how they see General Atomics:

—Neal: “From age 12, I always had a significant interest in high technology, and especially in nuclear technology. Remember this was 1947…and nuclear reactors offered the promise of providing energy that was too cheap to measure.”

—Neal: “The primary objective of acquiring General Atomics was the fulfillment of (that) long-term dream. The company employed…(scores of) scientists and engineers with expertise in specific fields like nuclear fission and fusion.”

—Linden: “The goal was to carry on the good science and technology development. General Atomics had everything we were interested in.”

—Neal: “We’re devoted to attempting to identify those transformational, technologies that will change the game in terms of baseline industries that can be displaced.”

—Linden: “So it’s free people thinking big thoughts, and having the freedom to do so.”

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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