Sidney Topol

Sep 15, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Sidney Topol led the cable industry to new heights. As president of Scientific-Atlanta, a major supplier of equipment to the industry, Mr. Topol played a pivotal role in developing the satellite transmission technology that triggered the growth of cable television.
Mr. Topol, a Boston native, enlisted in the Army in 1943, ostensibly to be trained as a meteorologist. Finding itself with too many weathermen, the Army instead taught him the intricacies of radar and wireless data transmission. After the war, Mr. Topol led the team that designed a microwave relay system in Tokyo for military use.
After he returned home, Mr. Topol obtained a degree in physics from the University of Massachusetts and went to work building rudimentary satellite systems for Raytheon Corp. He joined Scientific-Atlanta in 1971.
Mr. Topol became chairman of the Advanced Television Committee of the Electronic Industries Association in 1987 and used that post to champion the development of high-definition television. Now approaching 80, he is president of The Topol Group, an investment and consulting firm in Boston.
In 1995, Mr. Topol became an inductee into the National Cable Hall of Fame.