Bio Leonard Tramiel

Scientist, Educator.

Member of the SETI Institute Council of Advisors.

Tramiel received his bachelor of science degree in physics from Santa Clara University in 1976 and earned his master of arts, master of philosophy, and doctorate of philosophy degrees—all in physics—from Columbia University. He worked in the Columbia Astrophysics Lab under advisor Professor Gary Chanan, now at the University of California at Irvine.

Fresh out of graduate school, Tramiel joined his father and two brothers when his father bought Atari from Warner Communications in 1984. For the next 12 years, Tramiel was involved in the development of Atari’s products as vice president of software, managing an internal group of a dozen programmers while interacting worldwide with software developers and contract programmers.

Since retiring from Atari at age 42, he has been concentrating on advocating science education (See Forbes magazine, Oct. 30, 2000, for his work to improve the quality of science textbooks with the California Department of Education). Tramiel has also been a volunteer eighth-grade astronomy teacher for the past 10 years and has been volunteering at the Chabot Space and Science Center since 2000.

“I think that CFI’s mission of fostering a society based on reason and values is wonderful, in fact vital, for the future of humanity,” Tramiel said.