Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, College City New York, 1933. Electrical Engineer, College City New York, 1934. Doctor of Hebrew Literature (honorary), Towson State University, 1983.
He earned a total of 229 United States. patents on a variety of mechanical, optical and electrical devices. In 1919, his family moved to China, then in 1921 to the United States. His career as an inventor began when he was hired as a mechanical engineer in 1938 by the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or The National Institute of Standards and Technology).
He made many developments there, mainly in defense systems, and eventually became Chief of the Electro-Mechanical Ordnance Division at NBS before leaving in 1954 to form his own company.
During this time, Rabinow invented and patented a number of revolutionary devices. Among them are the first disc-shaped magnetic storage media for computers (1954), the magnetic particle clutch (1956), the first straight-line phonograph (1959), the first self-regulating clock (1960) and his famous "reading machine" (1960) which was the first to use the "best match" principle and was the basis for the reading, sorting and processing machines used today by banks and post offices.
In 1964, Rabinow"s company joined Control Data Corporation (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and until 1972 he was Vice President of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and head of the Rabinow Advanced Development Laboratory. In 1968 Rabinow formed the RABCO company to manufacture straight-line phonographs, and the company was later bought out by Harman Kardon Corporation.
In 1972 he returned to NBS where he was Chief Research Engineer until his retirement in 1989.
He published his book, Inventing for Fun and Profit, in 1989. He also delivered many speeches and lectures on inventions and technology, as a guest at many educational institutions and on several television and radio shows. He also served on the board of trustees for Science Service, now known as Society for Science & the Public, from 1971–1973.
Rabinow was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005.
Fellow Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (Harry Diamond award 1977), American Association for the Advancement of Science. Member National Academy Engineering, Philosophical Society Washington, Audio Engineering Society, Sigma Xi. Clubs: Cosmos (Washington).
Married Gladys Lieder, September 26, 1943. Children: Jean Ellen, Clare Lynn.