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Howard Salwen

SALWEN, Howard Telecom Titan, co-inventor of the internet router Howard Salwen died on Friday, September 25th of complications from Alzheimers at Rogerson House in Boston. He was born in New York in 1937, son of Norman and Hannah (Bernstein) Salwen. He was a graduate of the Horace Mann School and received bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in engineering from MIT. He was widely considered to be “the father of the token ring,” an early internet router technology, which evolved into founding his company, Proteon, where he was Chairman and CEO and took public in 1992. After ethernet technology became the standard, Howard went on to become CEO and Chairman of Telco systems, Chairman of Ultranet, Chairman of Scaleable Display, and a board member at Marathon Technologies as well as many other technology companies. Howard was a major force in Massachusetts’ then burgeoning telecom industry and became Chairman of the Mass Telecom Council in 1995, where he worked on Net Day, the effort to computerize and connect all the state’s schools to the internet. He also worked nationally to set standards for the telecom industry. Always ready to share his knowledge, he preferred making his points by telling stories, simplifying sometimes very complex ideas. He lectured, wrote and presented white papers all over the world for the IEEE. A music lover and gifted piano player, he served on the board of the Celebrity Series of Boston for many years. Other philanthropic board service included the American Technion Society, the DeCordova Museum, and MIT’s class of 1958, for which he served as Treasurer. He was known for his colorful bow ties and his big smile He was always ready to share his knowledge and mentored countless young MIT grads on their start-ups. He loved to race his Porsche and play tennis. He was an avid skier at his second home in Jackson Hole, where he took great pleasure in showing friends around the mountain. He is survived by his wife, Sheryl Resnick Marshall; his son David Salwen and his wife Barrett Tilney of Washington D.C.; his daughter Andrea Salwen Kopel and her husband Ed Kopel of New York; step daughter Dana Fisher and her husband Matt Fisher of New York; his grandchildren Madeleine and Camilla Salwen, and Ruby Salwen Kopel; his stepgrandchildren Keaton and Ezra Fisher; his sister Joan Salwen Fields of New York and brother-in-law Jay Lief of New York. The family is grateful to everyone at Rogerson House and his longtime caregivers, Lilian Assuncao and Juan Gonzalez. Donations in his memory may be made to the American Technion Society, Celebrity Series of Boston, or the Alzheimer’s Association. Funeral services were held.


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