You’ve never heard of Hubert J. “Hub” Schlafly Jr., but if you’ve seen a major political speech in the past generation, you know his work. Schlafly invented the TelePrompTer and changed public address in America. He died April 20th in Connecticut.
President Barack Obama, is hailed by supporters as a gifted orator. But he has been lambasted by critics for his reliance on the teleprompter. In truth, every President since Dwight D. Eisenhower, excepting Nixon, has used one for major speeches in Congress.
Schlafly, a TV engineer, developed the device in the 1950’s to help soap opera actors remember their lines, according to the Washington Post.
But it is politicians who made the device, which has evolved with technology, most famous. A seamlessly executed teleprompter-aided speech allows the speaker to read from notes while giving the impression that the speech is given from memory.
When asked about the death of Schlafly, President Obama was speechless.