Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Robert Alder dead at 93

I want everyone to grab their remote controls, switch on their TV or stereo and hit the Mute button. Remain seated for a minute of silence, for Robert Alder has passed.

Robert who? Only the inventor of the greatest home-comfort device, save the microwave: the remote control! He has now ascended to the glorious state of patron saint for wide-assed couch potaotes everywhere!

Adler, a prolific inventor who was best known for co-inventing (with Eugene Polley) the wireless TV remote control for Zenith in 1956, died of heart failure in Boise,ID, at age 93.

Alder joined Zenith in 1941 and remained with the company until 1999 when it was acquired by South Korea's LG Electronics. In its obituary -- headlined "The Inventor Who Deserves a Sitting Ovation" -- the "Washington Post" observed that Adler received more than 180 patents during his lifetime, but that it was the wireless remote that "revolutionized an industry ... and bedeviled, edified and otherwise sustained a grateful nation of couch potatoes ever since its introduction."

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