Marian Croak and Dr. Patricia Bath Are the First Black Women to Be Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame

by Shine My Crown Staff

Esteemed engineer Dr. Marian Croak and the late ophthalmologist Dr. Patricia Bath have made history by becoming the first Black women to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

“At the National Inventors Hall of Fame we are privileged to honor our country’s most significant inventors, who are giving the next generation the inspiration to innovate, create, and solve current and future problems,” Inventors Hall of Fame CEO Michael Oister said in a statement.

Dr. Marion Croak

Dr. Croak currently serves as the vice president at Google. She is known for inventing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which allows users to make calls over the internet rather than a phone line. Without her, applications such as Skype, Zoom and other huge tech giants may never have been possible.

“It’s humbling, and a great experience,” Croak said in an interview with Google. “At the time I never thought the work that I was doing was that significant and that it would lead to this, but I’m so I’m very grateful for the recognition.”

Dr. Croak’s graduate background is in quantitative analysis and social psychology and her dissertation examined factors that impact bias. She holds a Ph.D. in quantitative analysis from the University of Southern California, has more than 200 patents in VOIP technology.

Dr. Patricia Bath

Dr. Bath joins the Hall of Fame’s inductee class for her creation of the Laserphaco Probe, used to remove cataracts. Dr. Bath has already made history by becoming the first Black woman physician ever to receive a medical patent. She held a total of five patents.

“I was not seeking to be the first, I was only attempting to do my thing,” Bath told TIME Magazine in 2017 about her invention. “It’s only when history looks back that you realize you were the first.”

Dr. Bath sadly died in 2019 from cancer complications. She was 76.

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