The man who practically invented the Silicon Valley success story, William Hewlett, died on Friday at his home in Palo Alto, California. He was 87.

Hewlett co-founded Hewlett Packard with friend David Packard while the men were students at Stanford University. Packard died in 1996.

Hewlett and David Packard met as undergraduates at Stanford University and in 1939 formed their company from their garage.

Their first product was an audio oscillator for radio, and over the next 50 years, Hewlett would help guide the company from being an instrumentation outfit to a computing giant.

Hewlett and Packard were students of Stanford professor Frederick Terman, "the father of the Silicon Valley," who encouraged his students to embrace technology and get rich in the process.

Under Hewlett's presidency from 1964 to 1977, the company made a splash with the HP35 calculator.