The things you find on the Intertubes...the inventor of the first internally-programmable computer lives in Portland. It's an intriguing article involving a chance meeting in a coffee shop (where else?), with an equally interesting follow-up.
Russell A. Kirsch (born 1929) led a team of colleagues which, between 1947 and 1950, created America’s first internally programmable computer, the Standards Eastern Automatic Computer (SEAC). By 1957 Kirsch and his team had invented a scanner which, using the computing power of SEAC, converted photographs to digital images. This breakthrough created the basis for satellite imaging, CAT scans, bar codes, and desktop publishing.
Russell is married to Joan (née Levin) Kirsch. One of their four children, their son Walden, a KGW TV reporter for 17 years, now works for Intel in the Communications department. Russell has spent most of his professional life in Washington, D.C. where he was affiliated with the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) for nearly 50 years. Russell is retired and now resides in Portland, Oregon.
It seems odd that a guy like him would be living in a place as screwy as Portland, although since his son has lived here for years, it probably makes a degree of sense. Still, between the corruption, the aerial tram, the streetcar to nowhere, and all the other issues this place comes up with, you'd think he'd choose to live someplace that's at least relatively sane. But perhaps he has a condo in the Pearl district; maybe the streetcar suits him. Still, the Portland Flag, shown here, really describes the place perfectly: four intersecting roads in blue - all blocked by some artsy - and doubtless "green" thing plunked smack-dab in the middle.