A Silicon Valley entrepreneur, along with two other scientists, won the Nobel Prize for physics for creating a blue light emitting diode, or LED lights.
Shuji Nakamura, a founder of the Fremont, Calif.-based Soraa, was one of three scientists who won the Nobel Prize for his work with LED, according to the Wall Street Journal. In 1990, he was paid approximately $180 by his Japanese company, Nichia Corp., for discovering and patenting blue LED.
"People in the U.S. often asked if I got paid like hundreds of millions of yen or billions of yen," he told the WSJ in an interview. "When I told them my salary, they called me 'Slave Nakamura.'
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Nakamura left Japan and moved to the United States in 1999. By 2001, he sued his old company and was awarded 840 million yen, or about $7.8 million using today's conversion rates -- not bad considering the company expected to reach $1 billion in revenue from the invention.