Artifact Details


Rosen, Benjamin oral history

Catalog Number





In this 2017 oral history, Benjamin “Ben” Rosen discusses his life and career. Rosen surveys his childhood and education in New Orleans, LA, and in particular the influence of his older brother, Harold Rosen, on his early life decisions and interests. Rosen followed his brother to Caltech, earning an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering. From Caltech, Rosen enrolled at Stanford to pursue an advanced engineering degree. After a sojourn working as an engineer and living on the beach in Malibu, he went East, first working as an engineer for Sperry Gyroscope, and then moving into the world of financial analysis by first earning an MBA at Columbia University. Rosen worked for some fifteen years as an analyst on Wall Street, first for Coleman and Company and then for Morgan Stanley. He covered the semiconductor industry and then the personal computer industry, and was a pioneer in the creation of conferences and newsletters. Striking out on his own, he created Rosen Research as the vehicle for his popular newsletter and conferences, soon selling the operation to Esther Dyson and then moving into venture capital. Having been an vocal advocate for both personal computing in the form of the Apple II and software in the guise of VisiCalc, Rosen’s venture firm, Sevin Rosen, made two nearly simultaneous investments at the start of the 1980s: Lotus Development Corporation and Compaq. Rosen served as chairman of Compaq for 18 years, before retirement from the position in 2000. In the interview, Rosen discusses the trajectory of his fund, Compaq, and Lotus as well as his other investments and observations. The interview concludes with a discussion of Rosen’s philanthropy, particularly his charitable event, KentPresents.




Brock, David C., Interviewer
Rosen, Benjamin, Interviewee


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

New York City, NY


34 p.






Caltech; Stanford University; Rosen, Harold; Coleman & Co.; Markkula, Mike; Fylstra, Dan; Bricklin, Dan; Spreadsheet; VISICALC; Kapor, Mitch; Lotus Development Corporation; Canion, Rod; Compaq; Rosen, Sevin; semiconductor; Rosen Research; Moore, Gordon; software industry; Personal computer (PC); Lotus 1-2-3; Rosen Motors; Venture Capital; Apple; Morgan Stanley

Collection Title

CHM Oral History Collection


Computer History Museum

Lot Number


Related Records

102738546 Rosen, Benjamin oral history