A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - A.C. NIELSEN
Arthur Charles Nielsen Sr. (September 5, 1897 – June 1, 1980) was an American businessman, electrical engineer and market research analyst who created and tracked the Nielsen ratings for television as founder of the A.C. Nielsen Company.
Arthur Charles Nielsen was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was of Danish descent. Nielsen was educated at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he received a B.S., summa cum laude in 1918. He was a member of Tau Beta Pi (engineering honor society), the Sigma Phi Society and a captain of the varsity tennis team from 1916 to 1918. He subsequently served in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
Nielsen inaugurated a National Radio Index for broadcasters and advertisers in 1942, followed by a television ratings service in 1950. By the time of his death, the company's revenue was US$398 million annually.
Nielsen and his wife Gertrude (d.1998) donated the Nielsen Tennis Stadium to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In 1990, the A.C. Nielsen family made a donation to UW-Madison to establish the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Analytics and Insights, which provides MBA, MS, and certificate programs in marketing research, consumer insights, and analytics. It is the only full-time market research program in the United States. A small tennis center in Winnetka, Illinois, is named after him.
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