News Local/State

LED Inventor Holonyak Retires From U of I


The man who invented the LED light has retired from the University of Illinois. But colleagues say he'll almost certainly continue doing research.

Nick Holonyak officially retired July 31.

Milton Feng is a professor at the university. He was once Holonyak's student and became his research partner. Feng told The News-Gazette Holonyak probably will never stop working.

Feng calls Holonyak a "treasure'' and in the world of science is why the university is famous.  Holonyak wasn't available for comment.

Holonyak discovered an alloy that emitted light in 1962. That became the first LED, or light-emitting diode. The university honored him with a 50th anniversary celebration last year.

The 84-year-old was born in southern Illinois and worked on the Illinois Central railroad before enrolling at the U of I.