John Atanasoff was born on October 4, 1903, in Hamilton, New York. He died on June 15, 1995.
Atanasoff spent most of his early life in Florida and later moved to Iowa. While teaching at Iowa State College, he invented the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC) with the help of his graduate student, Clifford Berry.
Key features of the ABC were the use of binary math and Boolean logic to solve up to 29 simultaneous linear equations. Atanasoff's contributions were important because he was the first to use the concepts in the ABC which are still used in computers today.
Atanasoff's invention later inspired the ENIAC.
One interesting fact about Atanasoff is that he worked with the government to develop seismographs for long-range explosive detection.