Google Doodle for a Family Friend

Have you done a Google search today? Today’s Google Doodle shows the late Nobel Prize-winning scientist, Charles Kao, to commemorate what would be his 88th birthday today. (He’s on my Writer’s Birthday list for today, too.)

What few people know is that Charles Kao, the Father of Fiber Optics, was an honorary Girl Scout. His wife Gwen and my mother were business partners and also co-leaders of our Girl Scout troop when I was in high school. Mr. Kao used to come on all the camping trips, hike up mountains with us, and help out with other activities. At the store our families owned together, he would pitch in doing whatever needed to be done, including janitorial work, and made the same lousy wages that all family members made, despite being a world-famous physicist.

Dinner at the Kao house was always a trip. Somebody would pose a question about physics or mathematics, and the whole family would pull out their pencils and start making complicated calculations on their napkins.

Someone asked his son Simon today what was the more prestigious recognition, his Nobel Prize, or his Google Doodle! I’m not sure how to answer that.

Here’s the Google Doodle:

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