Tech credentials: Born in 1791, Morse created the single-wire telegraph system, leading to the telegraph's commercial success; and invented Morse code.
Political life: After becoming active in anti-Catholic and anti-immigration movements, Morse unsuccessfully ran for mayor of New York City in 1836 and 1841. Despite his political failures, Morse in 1842 was able to convince Congress to provide $30,000 to wire up the United States in support of his telegraph system.
Republished with permission from NetworkWorld. (View original version.)