Alexander Graham Bell was a prominent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first “practical” telephone, although some believe he stole the idea from Elisha Gray.
Bell’s father, grandfather, and brother were all involved with work on speech and elocution, and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell’s life’s work.
Bell’s research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices. These experimentations eventually resulted in Bell being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone in 1876. Interestingly enough, Bell considered his invention an interference with his “real” work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study. Bell is also known for many other landmark inventions including his work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics.