Media is loading


Sadler, William

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



William “Bill” Sadler, inventor and entrepreneur, was born 29 March 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri. At age five his parents moved to Norfolk, Virginia, in search of work; it was here that Bill grew up and attended high school. In November 1943, aged 17, he volunteered for the US Coast Guard; with knowledge in the field of engineering and communication, Bill was made a cadet officer. Within a short time he was serving in the Merchant Marine, on board a cargo ship bound for North Africa. Throughout 1944 and early 1945, Bill Sadler crisscrossed the Atlantic on various cargo ships, calling at ports from Morocco and Italy to Belgium and the Soviet Union. Often carrying munitions or weapons, his ships were repeatedly under attack from hostile aircraft. In mid-1945, Bill transferred to the Pacific theater, where he spent the remainder of his enlistment, until mid-1946. Ports of call included Guam, Saipan, Okinawa, and Japan. After his discharge in August 1946, Bill moved to San Francisco, where he became a pioneer in the new medium of television. In 1953 Bill accepted a job with Hubbard Broadcasting (KSTP-TV), which brought him to the Twin Cities; here he founded several electronics firms, among them Miratel and Dotronix, of New Brighton, Minnesota. Customers included the airline industry and NASA. At the time of this interview (March 2002) Bill lived in Roseville, Minnesota, where this interview took place. Bill Sadler passed away on 16 June 2003.


All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced without the written permission of Concordia University Library or Thomas Saylor, Department of History, Concordia University, St. Paul.

Bill Sadler - Transcript.pdf (669 kB)
PDF Transcript of Interview with Bill Sadler