Min Kao: The GPS Pioneer Who Revolutionized Navigation

Min Kao, the co-founder of Garmin, is a Taiwanese-American entrepreneur who has made significant contributions to the field of navigation technology. His invention of the first GPS navigator has revolutionized the way people travel, both on land and at sea. Kao’s story is one of innovation, perseverance, and the pursuit of a dream.

Early Life and Education

Min Kao was born in a small village in Taiwan in 1943. He grew up in a poor family, but his parents instilled in him a strong work ethic and a belief in the power of education. After graduating from high school, Kao moved to the United States to pursue his education. He earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee, and then a Ph.D. in the same field from the University of Kansas.

Career Highlights

Kao’s career in navigation technology began in the 1970s, when he worked for AlliedSignal. He was part of a team that developed the first GPS receiver for the U.S. military. In 1989, Kao co-founded Garmin with Gary Burrell. The company’s first product was a handheld GPS receiver, which was a major breakthrough in navigation technology. Garmin quickly became a leader in the GPS industry, and its products are now used by millions of people around the world.

Personal Life

Kao is married to Fan Kao, and they have two children. He is a passionate philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to educational and charitable causes. Kao is also a strong supporter of Taiwan, and he has established a foundation to promote cultural exchange between Taiwan and the United States.

Legacy

Min Kao is a true pioneer in the field of navigation technology. His invention of the first GPS navigator has revolutionized the way people travel, and his contributions to the field have been recognized with numerous awards and honors. Kao is an inspiration to entrepreneurs and innovators around the world, and his legacy will continue to shape the future of navigation for years to come.