Kearns, Robert

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Kearns, Robert Gender: M
Robert William Kearns
born on 10 March 1927 at 14:40 (= 2:40 PM )
Place Gary, Indiana, 41n36, 87w21
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 19°17' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 24°09 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 13°17'


American inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper systems used on most automobiles from 1969 to the present. His first patent for the invention was filed on 1 December 1964.

Kearns won one of the best known patent infringement cases against Ford Motor Company (1978–1990) and a case against Chrysler Corporation (1982–1992). Having invented and patented the intermittent windshield wiper mechanism, which was useful in light rain or mist, he tried to interest the "Big Three" auto makers in licensing the technology. They all rejected his proposal, yet began to install intermittent wipers in their cars, beginning in 1969.

After winning a $10.1 million judgment from Ford, Kearns mostly acted as his own attorney in the subsequent suit against Chrysler, even questioning witnesses on the stand. The Chrysler verdict was decided in 1992, and was a victory for Kearns. Chrysler was ordered to pay Kearns US$18.7 million with interest. Chrysler appealed the court decision, but the Federal Circuit let the judgment stand. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case. By 1995, after spending over US$ 10 million in legal fees, Kearns received approximately US$ 30 million in compensation for Chrysler's patent infringement.

On 9 February 2005, Kearns died of brain cancer complicated by Alzheimer's disease in Baltimore, Maryland. The story of his invention and the lawsuit against Ford forms the basis of the 2008 film, Flash of Genius.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • role played of/by Kinnear, Greg (born 17 June 1963). Notes: 2008 film "Flash of Genius"


  • Work : Contracts, agreements 1 December 1964 (Filed patent)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death by Disease 9 February 2005 (Brain cancer, age 77)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield provided birth certificate from Indiana archives.


  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Alzheimer's/Senility
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Cancer (Brain)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Wealthy
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Other Financial (Gain - compensation claim)
  • Personal : Death : Illness/ Disease (Brain cancer)
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Intermittent windshield wiper systems)