Alexander Graham Bell
AKA Alexander Bell
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Location of death: Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Canada
Cause of death: Diabetes complications 
Remains: Buried, Beinn Breagh Estate, Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Canada
Religion: See Note 
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Inventor of the telephone
Even as a boy, Alexander Bell was fascinated by the mechanics of speech and sound, and told friends that one day they might be able to speak over the telegraph. His father taught the deaf, and had developed what was called the "visible speech" system to help deaf children learn to speak. Even his grandfather had worked with children to overcome their speech impediments. In a rather gruesome but telling episode, young Bell and his brother experimented with the larynx of a dead sheep, and found that if they forced air through it the lifeless organ could make sounds akin to speech.
Friends and family called him Alec, and he was not given a middle name at birth. His brothers had middle names, and feeling somewhat shortchanged he asked his father if he could add 'Graham' as a tribute to a friend and family boarder, Alexander Graham. As a present for the boy's eleventh birthday, his father acquiesced.
As an adult, A. G. Bell followed in his father's footsteps and taught elocution to the deaf and hard-of-hearing. His first deaf students included 5-year-old George Sanders, whose father later became a principle investor in Bell's telephone system, and 16-year-old Mabel Hubbard, who became Bell's wife when she was 19. He taught at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes, which was later absorbed into Boston University, where Bell became a professor of vocal physiology.
His first inspiration for the "electrical speech machine" — the telephone — came in 1874, while he was tinkering with an earlier idea, the...