William Powell Lear (June 26, 1902 – May 14, 1978) was an American inventor and businessman. He is best known for founding Learjet, a manufacturer of business jets. He also invented the battery eliminator for the B battery, and developed the car radio and the 8-track cartridge, an audio tape system. Throughout his career of 46 years, Lear received over 140 patents.
Bill Lear worked with his friend Elmer Wavering to build the first car radio. Lear partnered with Howard Gates of Zenith; Lear designed the circuit and layout, Gates did the metal work, and Lear completed the assembly. Galvin initially dismissed the prototype, but later ordered a 200-unit production run. Galvin and Lear mulled over names for the product on a cross-country trip and came up with "Motorola", which was a portmanteau of "motor" and the then popular suffix "-ola" used with audio equipment of the time (for example "Victrola"). The product was such a success that Galvin changed the name of his entire company to Motorola.: 23, 24