Founder of ADTRAN, Inc., Entrepreneur, Engineer, Philanthropist
The son of teachers, Smith (1940-2007) excelled as a student in the Birmingham city schools and earned an electrical engineering degree from Georgia Tech. He returned to Alabama for his first professional job in Huntsville and began to realize that the merger of telephone and computer technologies could revolutionize the transmission of data.
Smith created Alabama’s first data communication company, Universal Data Systems, Inc., in 1969. After selling UDS to Motorola, he cofounded ADTRAN with close friend Lonnie McMillian in 1985 and further expanded the boundaries of digital data transmission. Today, ADTRAN is considered a leading global networking and equipment provider with more than $480 million in annual revenues.
He also was actively involved in the Huntsville community through educational, philanthropic and cultural organizations.
Mark C. Smith was inducted into the Alabama Men's Hall of Fame in 2010.