Stephen Benton -
2014 Honoree


Stephen Benton ’59, was a top student at SBHS and
distinguished himself in the sciences. Stephen won the
local Science Fair and went on to the State Fair in Los
Angeles where his experiment in light bending was noticed
by Dr. Edwin Land of Polaroid Land fame. Stephen was the winner of the 18th annual Westinghouse Science Talent
Search-an extremely high honor, chosen from a national
group of thousands of students. He attended Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, graduated in 1963 in electrical
engineering. During his time at MIT Stephen began
focusing on photographic, optical research and
stroboscopy. He completed his Masters and PhD, both from
Harvard and then taught classes at MIT. He held 14 patents
in optical physics and photography. Stephen’s landmark
work in fine arts holography and medical imaging is worldrenowned,
however, he is best known for his invention of
the rainbow hologram—the foil security on every credit
card and license. This hologram is known as the Benton
hologram! You may recall the hologram of the dove on the
cover of National Geographic Magazine—that was
Stephen’s. Dr. Benton passed away in 2003. Stephen’s
brother, Christopher Benton ’64, accepted the award on
his brother’s behalf and planned to send it to Stephen’s
widow in Massachusetts.




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