In Memoriam: Longtime CE Industry Leader, CES Founder Jack Wayman Dies

In Memoriam: Longtime CE Industry Leader, CES Founder Jack Wayman Dies

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Arlington, VA—International CES founder and consumer electronics (CE) industry legend Jack Wayman died on August 30 of natural causes at the age of 92, announced Gary Shapiro, the president and CEO of the  Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

“The consumer electronics industry has lost a legend and, more personally, I have lost a great friend and mentor,” said Shapiro. “Jack’s contributions to our association and our industry are numerous and momentous. We stand on his shoulders. From leading the creation of the association that eventually became CEA to founding the International CES to leading the fight for critical legislative and public policy victories that helped drive industry growth, Jack truly was one of the fathers of the contemporary CE industry. His passion for and dedication to our industry inspired us all. We join the entire CE family in expressing our condolences to his family and friends.”

Named the first director of the EIA Consumer Products division in 1963, Wayman oversaw its evolution, its $50,000 budget and its two employees into the Consumer Electronics Group with a $15 million budget and 50 employees. The CEG later became the independent CEA. He is perhaps best known for guiding the association to create and produce the first International CES in 1967, which consisted of 100 exhibitors and 17,000 attendees, and building it into a premier international event. The 2014 International CES hosted more than 3,600 exhibitors and 160,000 attendees.

Among Wayman’s career achievements are several victories on the legislative and public policy front—including the groundbreaking Sony-Betamax case—that paved the way for the introduction of breakthrough technologies.

Wayman continued his involvement with CEA and the CE industry well into his later years, serving as a media spokesperson and as a judge for the CE Hall of Fame. He also continued to mentor CEA staff and serve as an unofficial industry historian.

In addition to being inducted into the inaugural class of the CE Hall of Fame, Wayman received countless honors from the CE industry: the Electronic Industries Association’s (EIA) Distinguished Service Medal; induction into the Convention Industries Council Hall of Fame, the Electronic Industries Hall of Fame, and the Video Hall of Fame; Man of the Year awards from several industry trade publications; and Man of the Decade honors from Audio/Video magazine.

This past July, CEA made a $1 million contribution to the CEA Foundation in celebration of Wayman’s more than 50 years of achievements and contributions to the consumer technology industry. CEA will honor Wayman with a special tribute service in November 2014 in New York City, in conjunction with the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Consumer Electronics Division Awards Tribute, the CE Hall of Fame Dinner and CES Unveiled New York.

In addition to his career in the CE industry, Wayman was a proud and decorated U.S. veteran. He served in Europe during WWII as a combat infantry company commander and fought at the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge, earning multiple accolades, including a Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart with Cluster and two Presidential Citations. Last year, Wayman was inducted by the Government of France as a chevalier for his military service.

Wayman’s legacy also includes five children, 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. The family is holding a small memorial service on September 5, 2014 at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Boulder, Colorado, at 10 a.m. MST.

Donations may be made in Jack Wayman’s name to Davidson College and the CEA Foundation. CEA has developed a memorial page for those who wish to share their memories of Jack Wayman. The page can be accessed via ce.org.

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