Sir Clive Marles Sinclair was born in 1940 near Richmond in Surrey. Following a relatively inauspicious childhood and education, Sinclair began to explore his entrepreneurial skills at the age of 18. Initially selling mini-electronic kits mail-order from his home, he eventually registered his own business Sinclair Radionics Ltd in 1961.
It produced calculators, personal computers and other electronic equipment and the aspiration was small was beautiful. He marketed the world’s first pocket calculator, the world’s first digital wristwatch and the first pocket TV. In January 1980, Sir Clive Sinclair demonstrated his famous ZX80 at an exhibition in Wembley.
A couple of years later the ZX Spectrum was launched which proved highly successful in the computer gaming market. Sinclair launched several other branches to his Sinclair Empire with some success; however Sinclair Vehicles Ltd was to be less successful with its C5 three-wheel car which failed to impress the British public and was something of a running joke in the press.
This proved disastrous for the reputation of the business, and in 1986 the Sinclair trademark was sold to Amstrad. He was Chairman of British Mensa from 1980-1997 and was knighted in 1983. Today Sinclair Research still operates as a research and design business and its attentions appear more focused on ecological issues, with investigation being carried out on a number of projects including an electronic car, and a fold-up bicycle.