Businessman. He was the first President of AT&T. In 1885 he became the general manager of Bell Telephone. While there he set up the Western Electric Company, a division of the company that manufactured the telephone equipment. Retiring in 1889, he returned in 1907 to his previous job, except the company was now called American Telephone and Telegraph Company or AT&T. Brought back to the company due to trouble AT&T was having with its’ competition, he came up with the idea to create a long-distance company that would cross the entire continental United States. In 1915 when the transcontinental system was completed, Theodore Vail made the first long-distance phone call from his office in New York to San Francisco. During this time, he created Bell Labs to develop the technology needed for the system. He retired for the second and final time in 1919.
Bio by: Rich H.
Davis Righter Vail