He graduated from Saint Louis University High School and later earned a bachelor"s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1941.
Schlafly is also credited with spearheading the movement towards satellite television within the industry. During the 1950s, Schlafly invented the teleprompter, which scrolls text to on-camera talent, in order to help a soap opera actor who could not remember his lines. Schlafly unveiled the teleprompter on the set of the Columbia Broadcasting System soap opera, The First Hundred Years, in 1950.
Schlafly and Irving B. Kahn also co-founded the TelePrompTer Corporation, which grew to become the largest cable television provider in the United States by 1973.
They later sold the company to Westinghouse. In addition to the teleprompter, Schlafly is also credited with helping to promote the broadcasting of television signals via a satellite feed.
Schlafly and Sidney Topol, who worked for Scientific Atlanta, jointly constructed a portable satellite receiver to obtain satellite signals specifically for television He first demonstrated the satellite television technology in 1973, when Speaker of the House Carl Albert was able to speak at a cable television convention in Anaheim, California, from his congressional office in Washington District of Columbia Schlafly later called the Albert speech via a satellite feed as his greatest contribution to the cable industry.
In a 1956 article in Amazing Stories Magazine he predicted for the turn of the century:
In 2008, Schlafly was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame.
His speech at the induction ceremony marked the first time that Schlafly used the teleprompter, which he had invented approximately fifty years before. Schlafly was also honored with two Emmy Awards for his contributions to cable television technology. Schlafly died at a hospital in Stamford, Connecticut, on April 20, 2011, at the age of 91.
Board Governors Milbrook Club, 1993-1998. Fellow Society Motion Picture and television Engineers. Member Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (Delmer Ports award 1979, life), National Cable television Association (chairman standards committee 1965-1969, chairman domestic satellite committee 1971-1973, chairman future services committee 1972, associations committee 1981, Outstanding Technology Achievements award 1974), Cable television Pioneers, Electronic Industries Association (chairman broadband cable section 1971-1973, founding chairman broadband communications committee), Society Cable television Engineers (senior), Fairfield Foundation (honorary).
Named Notre Dame alumni Man of Year, 1992, Milbrook Country Club (board directors 1993-1999).
Married Leona Martin, June 12, 1944.