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Man who helped invent calculator dies at 86

DALLAS — Jerry Merryman, one of the inventors of the handheld electronic calculator, has died in Dallas. He was 86.

His stepdaughter, Kim Ikovic, says he died Feb. 27 at a hospital from complications of heart and kidney failure.

Merryman is one of the three men credited with inventing the handheld calculator while working at Dallas-based Texas Instruments. The team was led Jack Kilby, who made way for today’s computers with the invention of the integrated circuit and won the Nobel Prize, and also included James Van Tassel. The prototype they built is at the Smithsonian Institution.

The Smithsonian says the three had made enough progress by September 1967 to apply for a patent, which was revised before the final application in 1974.

Friend and former colleague Vernon Porter calls Merryman “absolutely, outstandingly brilliant.”

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