No, Hedy Lamarr did not ‘make’ Wi-Fi

Why she wasn’t a science genius, and how Wi-Fi really got made

Kimberly Moravec
8 min readApr 16, 2021
Figures from Patent US2292387A “Secret Communication System,” filed by Hedy Kiesler Markey (Hedy Lamarr) and George Antheil. Image source:

The top row of the Facebook meme shows three portraits of men.

  • Jack Dorsey: “I made Twitter”
  • Mark Zuckerberg: “I made Facebook”
  • Steve Jobs: “I made Apple”

Underneath is the beautiful Hollywood actor Hedy Lamarr.


It’s been shared by several of my friends, all of whom I know would have posted it with the best of intentions. Other shares (e.g., this one, this one, and this one) are in the hundreds of thousands now.

But the good intentions of my friends and the hundreds of thousands of shares doesn’t change the fact that it’s just not true.

Hedy Lamarr did not “make” Wi-Fi — certainly not in the sense the meme implies — as a genius entrepreneur. She couldn’t have.

Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs were born in 1976, 1984, and 1955, respectively, and Twitter, Facebook, and Apple Inc. were all launched when these men were reasonably young and active in tech (2006, 2004, and 1976, respectively). Their pivotal role as founders is well documented.