The biggest name in audio recently passed away. His LA Times obitiuary has a very interesting section on how even young people, motivated and with imagination, can make great impacts in science and business.
While still in high school, he started working for the ground-breaking Ampex Corp. in Redwood City that made audio tape recorders and was developing new uses for magnetic tape. "I made a deal with my high school," Dolby said. "I was so far ahead in my credits that I didn't have to worry about getting into college, so I went to school three hours a day and worked five at Ampex."
He worked at the company with Charlie Ginsburg, who headed a small team that developed the first broadcast-quality videotape recorder, according to an MIT profile. Ginsburg, who died in 1992, said in a 1988 Times interview that Dolby played a vital role.
"I'd say that Ray essentially was the inventor of that whole system," Ginsburg said. "He had virtually no formal education then, no college, but he was already an outstanding inventory."