Excerpt from Wikipedia
Arnold Orville Beckman (April 10, 1900 – May 18, 2004) was an American chemist, inventor, investor, and philanthropist. While a professor at California Institute of Technology, he founded Beckman Instruments based on his 1934 invention of the pH meter, a device for measuring acidity, later considered to have “revolutionized the study of chemistry and biology”. He also developed the DU spectrophotometer, “probably the most important instrument ever developed towards the advancement of bioscience”.Beckman funded the first transistor company, thus giving rise to Silicon Valley. After retirement, he and his wife Mabel (1900-1989) were numbered among the top philanthropists in the United States.