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Writer Don Hoefler, Who Coined Term “Silicon Valley″

April 16, 1986 GMT

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) _ Journalist Don Hoefler, credited with coining the term ″Silicon Valley″ to describe the electronics industry’s concentration in the once rural Santa Clara Valley, has died at the age of 63.

Hoefler, who published a weekly newspaper called Micro-electronics News for the past 14 years, was hospitalized in March after suffering a stroke and slipped into a coma later that month. He died Tuesday.

He was a publicist for Fairchild Semiconductor when the electronics industry was in its infancy, and first used the term ″Silicon Valley″ in 1971 when he wrote a series of articles for the weekly trade publication Electronics News.


Hoefler wrote an article for the San Jose Mercury News in 1981 in which he said his decision to use the term was simple enough.

″These revolutionary semiconductors are made in the valley, from silicon - not silicone, please - the second most-abundant chemical element (after oxygen) on Earth,″ he wrote.

″How was I to know that the term would quickly be adopted industry-wide, and finally become generic worldwide?″