Born in Dallas, Texas on August 29, 1920, Boykin invented dozens of electronic and mechanical devices including a control unit used in heart pacemakers, components for guided missiles and computer s, an electronic air filter, and atheft-resistant cash register. Boykin attended Fisk University in Nashville,Tennessee from 1938 to 1941 and subsequently worked for a number of electronics firms in the Chicago, Illinois area. From 1947-1949, he pursued graduatestudies at the Illinois Institute of Technology. For the next thirty-three years, Boykin contributed his expertise to the fields of chemistry and electronics as a consultant to a number of firms in Chicago as well as in Paris, France. He died of heart failure in Chicago in 1982.