John Mitchell 1928 - 2009

published on Jun 11th, 2009

Image of John Mitchell 1928 - 2009

It is with deep regret that we announce the death of former US Board Member and Life Trustee of the UL Foundation, John F. Mitchell, who died on June 11th after a battle with cancer. He was 81.

John’s father, William, was born in Cloghboley, Co. Sligo and his mother, Bridie, was born in Listowel, Co. Kerry.  John had a deep affection for Ireland and was one of the original member of the UL Foundation Board, joining in 1990.  Over the years, he proved to be very supportive of the University and Foundation through generous cash donations and gifts of Motorola stock and equipment, as well as many referrals to contacts.

Growing up in the US, John was a life guard on Chicago's Oak Street Beach and a water polo player at Black Hawk Park. He graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology as an electrical engineer and went on to serve in the U.S. Navy.

John joined Motorola in 1953, became Senior Vice President in 1974 and President in 1980. Three years later, he was appointed to former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.  He retired from Motorola in 1995 and remained on the Board of Directors as Vice Chairman until 1998.

During his 45-year career, John shaped the creation of nearly all of the wireless communications industries in the latter half of the 20th century and was one of the original patent holders on Motorola's DynaTac portable phone prototype.

The University of Limerick and the Foundation have been very fortunate to count John as a supporter and friend over the years.  Our deepest sympathies go to his wife, Margaret, and children, Kevin, John K. and Cathy.