Marvin Camras, an electrical engineer and inventor widely seen as the father of magnetic tape recording, died Friday in Evanston, Ill. He was 79.
The cause was kidney failure, said Sara Fishman, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he worked and taught for more than 50 years.
In 1944 he was awarded a patent on "method and means of magnetic recording," the forerunner of modern tape recorders.
Mr. Camras was awarded more than 500 patents for the invention and refinement of technology that is the basis for audio and video recording and computer data storage.
Magnetic coatings he developed are now used for tapes in video and cassette recorders, computers and on hard and floppy disks for information storage.
"Marvin Camras is a legend, and we are all grateful for what he did," said Ray Dolby, chairman of Dolby Laboratories, the manufacturer of noise reduction equipment. "The basic principles he explored and designed are used in the tapes and recorder designs in our machines today."
In recognition of his achievements, President George Bush awarded Mr. Camras the National Medal of Technology in 1990.