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Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) was born on February 11, 1847, in Milan, Ohio, and grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. He died in October 18, 1931. Edison only attended school for a few months and was instead taught by his mother. Much of his education came from reading R.G. Parker's School of Natural Philosophy and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Edison was an inventor and a businessman who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He exerted a tremendous influence on modern life. 

Key Contributions

Edison developed many devices that greatly life around the world, including the phonograph and the motion picture camera. As a prolific inventor, he held 1,093 U.S. patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. His greatest achievement was providing light and power to the masses. Several place and institutions have been named after Edison, most notably the town of Edison New Jersey. 

Edison's legacy of determination, intelligence, and ingenuity are consistent with community values. Thomas Edison Preparatory School's name reflects the mission of Tulsa Public Schools "To inspire and prepare every student to love learning, achieve ambitious goals and make positive contributions to our world." The name also sends a message to its constituents to follow the path established by its namesake. 

Relevant Historical Context 

The school was named in 1954. The school was named to honor Thomas Edison because of his significant and major contributions to America, to communicate to students the value of optimism, exploration of new ideas, and perseverance. The school name was modified to include the word "Preparatory" to emphasize academic rigor, preparing students for college and career readiness between 1995-2000 under the leadership of Dr. John Thompson, Superintendent of Schools and Dr. La Verne Ford Wimberly, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. 

Edison has the unique distinction of offering the AP Capstone diploma. This is the time frame of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl for Oklahoma when Edison's contributions to society would have been greatly respected and appreciated by all.