Alex d'Arbeloff, High-Tech Pioneer, MIT Benefactor, Dies - InformationWeek

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Alex d'Arbeloff, High-Tech Pioneer, MIT Benefactor, Dies

The co-founder of semiconductor test equipment maker Teradyne died this week in Boston at age 80.

Alex d'Arbeloff, founder of semiconductor test equipment maker Teradyne and a key director of Lotus Development in its early start-up days, died at age 80 in Boston this week.

He was a 1949 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former chairman of the school's board of trustees, known as the MIT Corporation. D'Arbeloff also contributed greatly to the school by creating, with his wife Brit, the Fund for Excellence in MIT Education.

Teradyne, the firm he and fellow MIT classmate Nick DeWolf founded in 1960, grew to become a $1 billion business. He and DeWolf had a serendipitous start: they met when they lined up in alphabetical order in a MIT ROTC class. DeWolf left the company and settled in Aspen in 1971, but d'Arbeloff stayed in Boston and resisted the urge to move to Silicon Valley where so many of Boston's early semiconductor pioneers settled.

"All of us privileged to know Alex are deeply saddened by his loss," said MIT president Susan Hockfield. "MIT has lost an extraordinary friend who aired his passionate devotion to the Institute with a brilliantly dispassionate, clear-eyed view of how it could grow even stronger."

Born in Paris, d'Arbeloff arrived in the Boston area in a circuitous manner: he moved from France with his parents first to South America, then to New York, then to Los Angeles.

Once he settled in the Boston area, however, he stayed put. Before he started Teradyne, he had been fired from three jobs at other companies, he joked.

D'Arbeloff leaves his wife, two daughters: Kate D'Arbeloff, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Alexandra Nangle of San Francisco, two sons: Eric D'Arbeloff of Los Angeles and Matt D'Arbeloff of Brookline, Mass., as well as five grandsons and a granddaughter.

MIT has established a Web site so friends and colleagues can post their remembrances of d'Arbeloff.

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