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Charles K. Kao

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The Honourable
Sir Charles Kuen Kao
Born4 November 1933(1933-11-04)
Shanghai, China[1]
Died23 September 2018(2018-09-23) (aged 84)
Sha Tin, Hong Kong
ResidenceChina (1933–1948)
Hong Kong
United Kingdom (1952–1970)
United States
CitizenshipUnited States
United Kingdom[1]
Hong Kong[2]
InstitutionsThe Chinese University of Hong Kong
ITT Corporation
Standard Telephones and Cables
Alma materUniversity College London (PhD 1965, issued by University of London)
Woolwich Polytechnic (BSc 1957, issued by University of London)
Doctoral advisorHarold Barlow
Known forFiber optics
Fiber-optic communication
This person won a Nobel Prize
The Honourable Sir Charles Kuen Kao, GBM,[3] KBE,[4] FRS,[5] FREng[6] (4 November 1933 – 23 September 2018) was a Chinese-born Hong Kong, American and British electrical engineer and physicist.

He helped discover the development and use of fiber optics in telecommunications. Kao was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for "groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication".[7] Kao holds dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and the United States.[8] Kao is known as the "Godfather of Broadband".[8]

Kao was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2002 and had speech difficulty.[9] He died on 23 September 2018 from complications of the disease in Sha Tin, Hong Kong at the age of 84.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Nobel Prize in Physics 2009 – Press Release. Nobel Foundation. October 6, 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2009. 
  2. Headline Daily (October 7, 2009). 高錕獲諾貝爾獎 國人驕傲. Headline Daily. Retrieved October 7, 2009. 
  3. "306 people to receive honours". The Government of Hong Kong SAR. July 1, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010. [dead link]
  4. "2010 Queen's Birthday Honours List" (in (in English)) (pdf). The London Gazette. SATURDAY June 12, 2010 SUPPLEMENT No.1 B23. Retrieved June 12, 2010. 
  5. List of Fellows of the Royal Society 1660 – 2007
  6. "The Fellowship – List of Fellows". Retrieved October 26, 2009. 
  7. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2009. Nobel Foundation. October 6, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2009. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Kelsey Mesher (October 15, 2009). "The legacy of Charles Kao". Mountain View Voice. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  9. 港媒年初传高锟患老年痴呆症 妻称老人家记性差
  10. Chiu, Peace; Singh, Abhijit; Lam, Jeffie (23 September 2018). Hong Kong mourns passing of Nobel Prize winner and father of fiber optics, Charles Kao, 84. Hong Kong. Retrieved 23 September 2018. 


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