Jerry Lawson, the engineer that lead the Fairchild Channel F development team, has died, reports Vintage Computing and Gaming. The Fairchild Channel F became the first cartridge-based video game console when it was released in 1976 and Lawson was instrumental in its design.
Lawson, pictured at left, joined Fairchild Semiconductor in 1970, going on to lead the company's video game division. Fairchild launched the Channel F in 1976 under its original name, Fairchild Video Entertainment System, to initial success.
"The whole reason I did games was because people said, 'You can't do it,' " Lawson told the Mercury News in a profile earlier this year. "I'm one of the guys, if you tell me I can't do something, I'll turn around and do it."
VG&C conducted an extensive interview with Lawson on his career and the creation of the Channel F from 2009, worth a read to learn more about the man and his contribution to the video game medium. Lawson was recently honored by the Independent Game Developers Association for his pioneering work.
Lawson passed away this weekend at the age of 70.
Jerry Lawson (1940-2011) [VC&G] [Photo credit: Peter Fuller]