List of people considered father or mother of a field

The following is a list of significant men and women known for being the father, mother, or considered the founders mostly in Western societies in a field, listed by category. In most non-science fields, the title of being the "father" is debatable.

Fine art

Subject Father/mother Reason
Cowboy sculpture Frederic Remington[1] Created first bronze cowboy sculpture in 1895


Subject Father/mother Reason
3D gaming Yu Suzuki
John Carmack
Creator of Hang-On, Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter, Wolfenstein 3D, and Doom
Collectible Card Game Richard Garfield Creator of Magic:The Gathering
Miniature wargaming H. G. Wells[2] Publication of Little Wars
Modern video game Shigeru Miyamoto[3] Creator of Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, F-Zero, Pikmin, and Wii
Role-playing game Gary Gygax[4] Creator of Dungeons & Dragons
Stealth game Hideo Kojima[5] Creator of the Metal Gear stealth-action games
Video game Thomas T. Goldsmith, Jr. Inventor of the first video game
Video game industry Nolan Bushnell Creator of Pong; founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese's
Wargaming Charles S. Roberts[6] Designer of tactics



Subject Father/mother Reason
Aerial warfare Oswald Boelcke[7] The first to formalize rules of air fighting, which he presented as the Dicta Boelcke, also credited as being the first pilot to shoot down an aircraft
Atomic bomb Enrico Fermi[8]
Robert Oppenheimer[9]
Leó Szilárd[10]
Blitzkrieg Heinz Guderian[11][12]
The West's Hydrogen bomb Edward Teller[13]
Atomic submarine and "nuclear navy" Hyman G. Rickover[14][15][16]
Fourth Generation Warfare William S. Lind
French sailing navy Jean-Baptiste Colbert[17] Built on the fleet of France inherited from Cardinal Richelieu
Naval special warfare Phil H. Bucklew[18] US Naval Officer and First Commanding Officer of Navy SEAL Team One
Naval tactical studies Paul Hoste[19] Jesuit Professor of Mathematics at the Royal College of the Marine in Toulon; wrote L'Art des Armées Navales (1697)
Luftwaffe and Luftstreitkräfte Oswald Boelcke[20]
Royal Air Force Hugh Trenchard, 1st Viscount Trenchard[21]
The Soviet Union's Hydrogen Bomb Andrei Sakharov[22]
United States Airborne William C. Lee[23] First commander of the parachute school at Fort Benning, Georgia
United States Cavalry Kazimierz Pułaski[24] Brigadier-general and commander of the cavalry of the Continental Army (1770s)
United States Navy John Adams[25]
Commodore John Barry[26]
Captain John Paul Jones[27]


Natural and social sciences


Subject Father/mother Reason
1:8 radio-controlled off-road buggy Yuichi Kanai (godfather)[28][29] Kyosho's lead designer and lifelong employee; best known for the Inferno series of cars, credited for redefining the class from being unreliable and fragile to being tough and user friendlier that helped his employer to lead the 1/8 buggy renaissance from the 1990s, becoming one of the most dominant cars of all time.
American football Walter Camp[30]
American motocross Edison Dye[31] Introduced motorcross to American riders
American road racing Cameron Argetsinger[32] Introduced the first US auto race that was dedicated to road courses at Watkins Glen
American soccer Steve Ross (godfather)[33] created the New York Cosmos soccer team and imported a number of well known international footballers to the team in an attempt to bring interest to soccer in the US
Angling Izaak Walton[34] Author of The Compleat Angler
Argentine football Alexander Watson Hutton[35]
Argentine professional golf José Jurado[36]
Argentine winter sports Otto Meiling[37]
Association football Ebenezer Cobb Morley[38]
Australian rules football Tom Wills
H. C. A. Harrison
Baseball Henry Chadwick[39][40][41][42]
Basketball James Naismith Created basketball
Black basketball Edwin Henderson Introduced the sport to the black community of Washington, D.C. in the first decade of the 20th century, and organized many early competitions for African Americans[43]
BMX Scot Breithaupt[44]
Brahma Bull Riding Earl W. Bascom, Weldon Bascom Introduced brahma bull riding to the sport of rodeo in 1935[45]
Brazilian football Charles William Miller[46]
Camel Lights Jim Downing Built a racecar a season before it became the basis of a new lightweight prototype class in 1985[47]
Canadian rodeo O. Raymond Knight[48] Coined the rodeo term "stampede" and was world's first rodeo producer, rodeo stock contractor, and rodeo champion in 1902
Drag racing Wally Parks[49] Founder of the NHRA and organized the first legitimate drag race
Don Garlits[50] Innovator of drag racing safety
Eddie Hill[51] Regarded as the "Four Father" of drag racing for being the first to break the 5-second barrier. AKA "First in the Fours."
Drifting Kunimitsu Takahashi[52] Introduced an aggressive high speed cornering technique that became widely used for illicit purposes, which eventually became a sport
East Coast skateboarding Vinny Raffa (godfather)[53]
Florida skateboarding Bruce Walker (godfather)[54]
Modern football Ebenezer Cobb Morley[55]
Freestyle BMX Bob Haro[56][57]
Freestyle Motocross Mike Metzger (godfather)[58]
Funny Car Dick Landy[59]
modern gymnastic Friedrich Ludwig Jahn
modern Handball Karl Schelenz
Ice hockey James Creighton Captained one of the two teams that participated in the first indoor hockey game on March 3, 1875 in Montreal
Import drag racing Frank Choi[60] Hosted one of the first events specifically for import cars in the mid-1990s to keep drivers out of street racing that progressed into a professional category
Italian football James Richardson Spensley[61] Associated with Genoa CFC; contributed to the modern day-variation of the game in Italy
William Garbutt[62] Laid the foundations of skilled coaching in Italian football
Japanese baseball Horace Wilson[63] Credited with introducing baseball in Japan
Hiroshi Hiraoka[64] Credited with establishing the first baseball team
Jogging Jim Fixx[65] Founding father
Kart racing Art Ingels[66] Developed the world's first kart (1956)
Kenyan running Colm O'Connell[67] Founded the first running camp in Kenya
Lacrosse William George Beers[68][69][70][71] Codified the sport
Mississippi rodeo Earl W. Bascom
Weldon Bascom [72]
Produced the first rodeo in Columbia, Mississippi in 1935
Mixed martial arts Edward William Barton-Wright[73] Experimented 1898–1902 with Shinden Fudo Ryu jujutsu, Kodokan judo, British boxing, Swiss schwingen, French savate and a defensive la canne (stick fighting) style that had been developed by Pierre Vigny of Switzerland ,which led to the invention of Bartitsu
Model aviation Joseph S. Ott[74] Chicago Tribune, in an obituary, referred him as the father mainly for his designs of thousands of model aircraft spanning from the 1920s up to his death in 1986.
Modern bodybuilding Eugen Sandow[75]
Harold Zinkin[76] Called so by Arnold Schwarzenegger during a press statement on his passing in 2004; inventor of modern exercise machines
Modern boxing James Figg[77]
James J. Corbett
Modern figure skating Jackson Haines[78] "Jackson Haines - The Father of Figure Skating," according to Roy Blakey
Modern football in Japan Dettmar Cramer[79]
Modern Rodeo Earl W. Bascom[80] Inventor of rodeo gear and equipment that made rodeo into a modern international sport
Modern tennis Jack Kramer[81] Creator of the "Open"-era tournaments and the Association of Tennis Professionals
Puroresu Rikidōzan[82]
Para-equestrian dressage Lee Pearson (godfather)[83] Most decorated para-equestrian rider of all time
Organized radio controlled racing Ted Longshaw[84] Regarded as a grandfather of the sport; founded an organization for racing in the United Kingdom (1971); founded governing bodies for organized racing in Europe (1973), the far east (1980) and worldwide (1979)
Roger Curtis Co-founder of Associated Electrics, one of the most significant R/C car brands; contributed to racing[85]
Modern sabre fencing Italo Santelli[86]
Modern surfing Duke Kahanamoku[87]
Rodeo bareback bronc riding Earl W. Bascom[88] Designed and made the first one-hand rigging in 1924
Rugby union A. G. Guillemard[89]
William Webb Ellis[90] "Who with a fine disregard for the rules of football as played in his time first took the ball in his arms and ran with it thus originating the distinctive feature of the rugby game".
Scuba diving Jacques Cousteau[91] Developed the aqua-lung jointly with Émile Gagnan; popularized scuba diving as a research diver, writer, and film and television producer and personality
Skateboarding Skip Engblom (godfather)[92]
Tony Hawk (godfather)[93]
Rodney Mullen (godfather)
Snooker Neville Francis Fitzgerald Chamberlain[94] Adopted the name and framed the rules in Ooty, India
Snowboarding Jake Burton Carpenter[95]
Stock car racing Bill France, Sr.[96][97] Founded the sanctioning body for stock car racing
Supercross Mike Goodwin[98] Organized the first supercross race
Televised golf Frank Chirkinian[99][100] Personally responsible for much of the production conventions of modern golf broadcasting



Subject Father/mother Reason
Aerodynamics (modern) Sir George Cayley[101][102] Founding father of modern aerodynamics; first to identify the four aerodynamic forces of flightweight, lift, drag, and thrust; modern airplane design is based on those discoveries
Architecture Imhotep[103] Built the first pyramid
Astronautics Konstantin Tsiolkovsky[104]

Sergei Korolev[105]
Robert H. Goddard[106]
Hermann Oberth[107]

Aviation Father Francesco Lana-Terzi[108] Wrote Prodromo alla Arte Maestra (1670); first to describe the geometry and physics of a flying vessel
British watchmaking Thomas Tompion[109]
Clinical trials James Lind[110] Conducted the first controlled clinical trial in the modern era of medicine, an investigation on using citrus food as a treatment for scurvy aboard HMS Salisbury in 1747
Computing Charles Babbage[111] Inventor of the analytical engine, which was never constructed in his lifetime
Cybernetics Norbert Wiener[112][113]
Genetics Gregor Johann Mendel Founder of genetics[114]
Modern bladesmithing William F. Moran Founder of the American Bladesmith Society
Modern kinematics Ferdinand Freudenstein Applied digital computation to the kinematic synthesis of mechanisms[115]
Modern Knifemaking Bob Loveless Founder of the Knifemakers' Guild
Modern Linguistics Noam Chomsky
Nanotechnology Richard Smalley Nobel Prize Biography[116]
Photography Louis Daguerre[117]
Nicéphore Niépce[118]
William Henry Fox Talbot[119]
Thomas Wedgwood[120]
Robotics Al-Jazari[121][122] Invented the first programmable humanoid robot in 1206[123]


Subject Father/mother Reason
C (programming language) Dennis Ritchie
Assembler Nathaniel Rochester[124]
Compiler John Backus Credited as having introduced the first complete compiler in 1957, although rudimental compilers (linker) were created by Grace Hopper in 1952 and by J. Halcombe Laning and Neal Zerlier (Laning and Zierler system) in 1954
Computer Charles Babbage[125] The concepts he pioneered in his analytical engine later formed the basis of modern computers.
Alan Turing[126][127] Secret code breaker during WWII; invented the Turing machine (1936)
John V. Atanasoff[128] Invented the digital computer in the 1930s
Konrad Zuse[129] Invented world's first functional program-controlled computer
John von Neumann[130] Became "intrigued" with Turing's universal machine and later emphasised the importance of the stored-program concept for electronic computing (1945), including the possibility of allowing the machine to modify its own program in useful ways while running. John von Neumann is also considered to be the inventor of flowchat.
John W. Mauchly[131]
J.Presper Eckert[132]
Invented the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) in 1946. ENIAC was the first general-purpose electronic computer capable of being reprogrammed to solve a full range of computing problems.
Computer program Ada Lovelace[133] Recognized by historians as the writer of the world's first computer program which was for the Charles Babbage Analytical Engine, but was never complete within either her lifetime.
Internet Vint Cerf[134][135]

Bob Kahn[136][137]

Co-invented Internet protocol (IP) and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) in 1973, the two original protocols of the Internet protocol suite.[138]
Microprocessor Marcian Hoff[139]
Masatoshi Shima[140]
Pentium microprocessor Vinod Dham[141][142] The original Pentium (P5) was developed by a team of engineers, including John H. Crawford, chief architect of the original 386,[143] and Donald Alpert, who managed the architectural team. Dror Avnon managed the design of the FPU.[144] Dham was general manager of the P5 group.[145] Some media sources have called him the "father of the Pentium".
Personal computer Chuck Peddle[146] Developed the 6502 microprocessor, the KIM-1 and the Commodore PET
Henry Edward "Ed" Roberts[147]
André Truong Trong Thi[148]
Programmable logic controller Dick Morley
Search engine Alan Emtage[149][150][151] Created Archie, a pre-Web search engine which pioneered many of the techniques used by subsequent search engines
SGML Charles Goldfarb[152]
World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee[153]
Visual Basic Alan Cooper[154]
XML Jon Bosak[155]
Wi-Fi Vic Hayes


Subject Father/mother Reason
Air conditioning Willis Carrier [156]
Battery Alessandro Volta Invented the first electrical battery, the Voltaic pile.[157]
Chronograph George Graham[109][158] Referred so by Bernard Humbert of the Horology School of Bienne on his 1990 book he Chronograph as Graham was the first to construct a horological mechanism
Color photography Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky[159] A Russian chemist and photographer. He is best known for his pioneering work in color photography of early 20th-century Russia.
Compact Disc Kees Immink[160]
Ekranoplan Rostislav Alexeev[161] Alexeyev revolutionised the shipbuilding industry (though in secrecy) by inventing craft that use ground effect, whereby a wing traveling close to the ground is provided with a better lift-drag ratio - thereby enabling a combination of greater aircraft weight for less power and/or enhanced fuel economy.
Modern firearms John Moses Browning[162] Browning revolutionized the firearm industry with his automatic rifles that were manufactured by Winchester, Colt, Remington and Savage
Glow plug engine Ray Arden[163] Invented the first glow plug for model engines
Helicopter Igor Sikorsky[164] Invented the first successful helicopter, upon which further designs were based.
Instant noodle Momofuku Ando[165] Inventor of the instant noodle, also founder of Nissin Foods to produce and market them.
Japanese television Kenjiro Takayanagi[166][167]
Jet engine Frank Whittle[168][169]
Karaoke Daisuke Inoue[170] Inventor of the machine as a means of allowing people to sing without the need of a live back-up.
Laser Charles Hard Townes
Lightning prediction system Alexander Stepanovich Popov The first lightning prediction system, the Lightning detector, was invented in 1894 by Alexander Stepanovich Popov.
Marine chronometer John Harrison[171]
Mobile phone Martin Cooper[172]
Periodic table Dmitri Mendeleev[173] Russian chemist, Dmitri Mendeleev, arranged the elements in an order that we would now recognise. He realised that the physical and chemical properties of elements were related to their atomic mass in a 'periodic' way, and arranged them so that groups of elements with similar properties fell into vertical columns in his table.
Plastics Leo Baekeland Baekeland was responsible for the creation of Bakelite, an early marketable plastic, in 1907.
Radio Guglielmo Marconi[174]
Jagdish Chandra Bose[175]
The research of these pioneers led to the invention of radio
Radio (Radio broadcasting) Reginald Fessenden
David Sarnoff
Fessenden is credited as the first to broadcast radio signals on Christmas Eve, 1906. Sarnoff proposed a chain of radio stations to Marconi's associates in 1915.
Radio (FM radio) Edwin H. Armstrong Obtained the first Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license to operate an FM station in Alpine, New Jersey at approximately 50 megahertz (1939)
Radiotelephony Reginald Fessenden[176][177]
Spread spectrum Paul Beard[178] Inventor of the spread spectrum, created Spektrum to promote its use.
Telephone Johann Philipp Reis
Antonio Meucci
Alexander Graham Bell[179]
See Invention of the telephone
Television Philo T. Farnsworth[180]

Vladimir Zworykin[181][182]

John Logie Baird[183][184]

Co-Inventors of the Electronic Television. Farnsworth invented the Image dissector while Zworykin created the Iconoscope, both fully electronic forms of television. Logie Baird invented the world's first working television system, also the first electronic color television system.
Tokamak Lev Artsimovich
Tube structure Fazlur Rahman Khan[185] One of the greatest engineers of the 20th century. Invented the tube structural system and first employed it in his designs for the DeWitt-Chestnut Apartments, John Hancock Center and Sears Tower.

Towns, cities, and regions

Subject Father/Mother Reason
British Columbia James Douglas[186] Fur trader and manager for the North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company, Governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island and first Governor of the Colony of British Columbia.
Lan Kwai Fong Allan Zeman[187] Noted for turning a small square of streets in Central, into a thriving bar and night life districts in Hong Kong.
Miami, Florida Henry Flagler[188] Builder of the Florida East Coast Railway
San Bernardino, California Jefferson Hunt[189] Captain in the Mormon Battalion (1846), California State Legislator (1852), Brigadier General of the California Militia (1855)


Subject Father/mother Reason
20th century American car industry Henry Ford[190] Noted for introducing a simple and affordable car for the ordinary American masses.
American Interstate Highway System Dwight D. Eisenhower[191] Proposed and signed the act which created the System
Automatic transmission Oscar Banker[192][193]
flight simulator Edwin Albert Link[194] Developed the Link Trainer
Full-suspension mountain bike Jon Whyte[195] Used his suspension design expertise at Benetton Formula to design the first full-suspension mountain bike for Marin Bikes.
Electric Automobile (Flocken Elektrowagen) Andreas Flocken
Gasoline Automobile (Benz Patent-Motorwagen) Carl Benz
Gasoline Omnibus Carl Benz
Gasoline Motorcycle (Daimler Reitwagen) Gottlieb Daimler/Wilhelm Maybach
Gasoline Truck Gottlieb Daimler (DMG Lastkraftwagen)/Carl Benz
High-performance VW industry Gene Berg[196]
Hot rod Ed Winfield[197]
Import car culture RJ DeVera[198] Influential for popularizing the import car scene in the mid-1990s.
Kustom Kulture Von Dutch[199]
Maglev Hermann Kemper
Monster truck Bob Chandler[200] Famed for building Bigfoot, which was the first to be capable of driving over cars and subsequently became one of the most famous monster truck in history
Mountain bike Gary Fisher[201]
Rock Crawling Marlin Czajkowski[202] In 1994, Marlin made final drive ratios of 200:1 and lower possible in typical off road vehicles (primarily Toyota Hilux trucks) and changed the way people access remote off-roading destinations.
Rotary engine Felix Wankel[203][204]
Route 66 Cyrus Avery[205]
Tailfin Harley Earl[206][207][208]
Traffic safety William Phelps Eno[209]
Trolleybus (Electromote) Werner von Siemens
Turbocharged engine Paul Rosche[210] A lifetime employee of BMW, he evolutionized the turbocharged engine into automobile use. He also developed the first European turbocharged car, the racing 1969 BMW 2002 TiK that evolved into the production 1972 2002 Turbo.
Yellow school bus Frank W. Cyr[211]

See also


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  2. The Miniatures Page. The World of Miniatures - An Overview.
  3. "Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, 'The Father of Modern Video Games,' Receives The Jim". Reuters. 2009-01-15.
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  5. "Hideo Kojima 'GDC 2009 Keynote' video Part 2 of 4". March 26, 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-01.
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  7. "Oswald Boelcke". Retrieved 2013-08-21.
  8. Lichello, R. (1971). Enrico Fermi: Father of the Atomic Bomb. SamHar Press. ISBN 978-0-87157-011-6.
  9. Jennifer Rosenberg. "J Robert Oppenheimer Biography of Manhattan Project Director". Education. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  10. Bernstein, Barton J: "Introduction" to The Voice of the Dolphins and Other Stories (expanded edition), by Leo Szilard. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992, p. 5: "Its author, Leo Szilard, now dead nearly three decades, was a Hungarian émigré scientist and one of many putative fathers of the A-bomb."
  11. Chris Trueman. "Heinz Guderian". Retrieved 2009-05-26.
  12. Chris Shimp (March 1, 2001). "General Heinz Guderian: The Father of Blitzkrieg". Retrieved 2009-05-26.
  13. "'Father of H-Bomb' Agrees to Rally Scientific Talent." The New York Times, December 31, 1965, p. 19. Story opens: "Albany, December 30Governor Rockefeller will make an intensified attack on air pollution with the help of Dr. Edward Teller, the 'father of the hydrogen bomb.'"
  14. Jeffries, John (2001). Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Fordham Univ Press. p. 162. ISBN 0-8232-2110-5. 'Admiral Rickover', said Powell, '"father of the atomic submarine", is a great naval officer... It is not equally clear that he is a careful and thorough student of American education.'
  15. "Submarine Range Called Unlimited; Rickover Says Atomic Craft Can Cruise Under Ice To North Pole and Beyond," The New York Times, December 6, 1957, p. 33: "The admiral, who is often called the 'Father of the Atomic Submarine'..."
  16. Galantin, I. J. (1997). Submarine Admiral: From Battlewagons to Ballistic Missiles. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06675-8., p. 217: "Chet Holifield... member of the JCAE... said 'Of all the men I dealt with in public service, at least one will go down in history: Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy.'"
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