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Honorary Membership and the Honor Roll

Honorary Membership is the Society’s highest accolade. It recognizes individuals who have performed distinguished service in the advancement of engineering in motion pictures, television, or in the allied arts and sciences. Honorary Members who have passed away are named to the SMPTE Honor Roll, which also posthumously recognizes individuals who were not awarded Honorary Membership during their lifetimes but whose contributions would have been sufficient to warrant such an honor.

2021 Inductees - Chris Cookson, Peter Jackson and David Sarnoff (Posthumous)

Honorary membership is conferred upon Christopher J. Cookson in recognition of his pioneering efforts to advance technology in the production and distribution of television and motion pictures. He espoused advancements in high-definition and ultrahigh-definition and played key roles in the successful industry development and standardization of digital video discs (DVD), digital cinema, and digital mezzanine files for automated distribution delivery. Cookson holds numerous patents in the fields of optical discs and film restoration.

Honorary Membership is conferred upon Peter Jackson in recognition of outstanding technical contributions to the advancement of engineering in motion pictures and the allied arts and sciences. Jackson led his technology company, WETA Digital, in the development of groundbreaking digital effects for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, including a software system to generate intelligent crowds for battle scenes and advanced motion-capture techniques. The Hobbit trilogy included the first motion pictures to be captured and exhibited in 3D at 48 frames per second, resulting in significant advances in equipment and production. Jackson's continuous pursuit of improved storytelling through new technologies has earned him global acclaim.

David Sarnoff is added to the Honor Roll in recognition of his visionary leadership in the advancement and implementation of color television and other communication technologies. His realization that radio signals could be “broadcast” to many, rather than just a few, revolutionized mass communication beginning with radio and progressing to television. Sarnoff established a highly productive and successful research and development lab to fuel new communications technologies. His innovation support at the RCA Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey, led to the establishment of the U.S. color TV standard in 1953, which became the basis for monochrome-compatible color TV systems worldwide.

SMPTE Honorary Members



John L.E. Baldwin (2000)

Stanley N. Baron (2010)

James Cameron (2016)

Leonardo Chiariglione (2014)

Ian Childs (2010)

Richard Edlund (2020)

Reed Hasitngs (2020)

Paul Kellar (2019)

George Lucas (2014)

Masahiko Morizono (1994)

John D. Ross (2020)

Michael J. Sherlock (1997)

William H. Smith (1998)

Roderick Snell (2019)

Charles A. Steinberg (2018)

Laurence J. Thorpe (2015)

Roland J. Zavada (1995)

The Honor Roll

Victor H. Allen (1975)

Charles E. Anderson (2012)

Thomas Armat (1935)

John Logie Baird (2014)

Joseph Arthur Ball (1953)

Julius Barnathan (1997)

K. Blair Benson (1991)

Walter Bruch (1989)

Marvin C. Camras (1990)

John C. Capstaff (1955)

Theodore W. Case (1946)

George W. Colburn (1987)

Jeofry Stuart Courtney-Pratt (1974)

John I. Crabtree (1965)

Edward B. Craft (1946)

Andre Debrie (1955)

LeRoy E. DeMarsh (1999)

Herman A. DeVry (1941)

W. K. L. Dickson (1933)    

Walt Disney (1955)

Ray M. Dolby (1992)

Linwood G. Dunn (1984)

George Eastman (1928)

Harold E. Edgerton (1968)

Thomas Alva Edison (1928)

Elmer W. Engstron (1966)

Alexander Ernemann (1956)

Ralph M. Evans (1973)

Philo Taylor Farnsworth (1996)

Joseph A. Flaherty (1993)

Harvey Fletcher (1959)

Charles R. Fordyce (1984)

Lee de Forest (1940)

John G. Frayne (1967)

William Friese-Greene (1931)

Leon Gaumont (1946)

Charles P. Ginsberg (1976)

Peter C. Goldmark (1977)

Alfred N. Goldsmith (1961)

Oscar B. Hanson (2015)

Wesley T. Hanson, Jr. (1979)    

Albert S. Howell (1941) 

Frederick Eugene Ives (1928)

C. Francis Jenkins (1926)

Herbert T. Kalmus (1958)

Edward W. Kellogg (1950)

Stefan Kudelski (1988)

Eugene Augustin Lauste (1931)

Louis A. A. Le Prince (1931)

Jean Acme LeRoy (1931)

Nathan Levinson (1953)

Louis Lumiere (1928)

Kenneth M. Mason (1981)

John A. Maurer (1978)

Renville “Ren” H. McMann Jr.​ (2017)

C.E. Kenneth Mees (1957)

Pierre Mertz (1971)

Oskar Messter (1960)

George A. Mitchell (1971)

Albert Narath (1969)

Robert W. Paul (1937)

Edwin S. Porter (1941)

Kerns H. Powers (1995)

Frederick M. Remley Jr. (1991)

Frank H. Richardson (1944)

Robert Richter (1972)

Rodger J. Ross (1989)

Loren L. Ryder (1980)

Max Skladanowsky (1970)

Robert M. Smith (1996)

Sidney P. Solow (1981)

Earl I. Sponable (1957)

Kenjiro Takayanagi (1988)

Lloyd Thompson (1962)

Alexander F. Victor (1964)

Samuel L. Warner (1946)

William T. Wintringham (1977)

Irwin Young (2015)

Vladimir K. Zworykin (1950)