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Two Black Innovators 2024 Inductee Class
Jan 25 – Feb 07, 2024
larry smoot

The National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees 2024 class will include two Black inductees among the fifteen innovation pioneers whose inventions range from cancer treatments to theatrical technologies and special effects. In partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Hall of Fame will honor these Inductees on May 9 at one of the innovation industry’s most highly anticipated events – “The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation.”

“Every year, I am impressed and inspired by the accomplishments of the newest Inductees in the National Inventors Hall of Fame,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “We are proud to honor these world-changing inventors in the class of 2024, who show us the power of turning ideas into realities and participating in our intellectual property system to make a positive impact on our society and our future.”

The Class of 2024 Black Inductees include:

Lanny Smoot: Theatrical Technologies and Special Effects

Disney Imagineer Lanny Smoot is the patent leader, with over 100 patents, at The Walt Disney Company. He has developed many special effects, interactive experiences, new ride vehicle and robotic concepts, and other technological advancements for Disney’s theme parks, attractions, resorts hotels and cruise ships, creating magical guest experiences and driving innovation for future attractions.

George Washington Murray: Agricultural Machinery (Posthumous)

George Washington Murray invented agricultural machinery designed to accelerate planting and harvesting processes. He also served in the U.S. Congress and advocated for greater recognition of his fellow Black inventors.

The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation includes two events:

May 8 - Illumination Ceremony at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum at the USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, where new Inductees will place their names on illuminated hexagons in the museum’s Gallery of Icons.

May 9 - The 2024 National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at The Anthem in Washington, D.C., where the new Inductee class will be honored for its contributions to society during an evening event including a black-tie dinner and ceremony.

Click here for biographies of each Inductee
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