Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and early versions of the electric light bulb, have had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of organized science and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He established the first industrial research laboratory.
Charles Albert Coffin (31 December 1844 – 14 July 1926) was an American businessman. He was born in Fairfield, Maine, the son of Albert Coffin and his wife Anstrus (Varney). At age 18, he moved to Lynn, Massachusetts to join his uncle Charles E. Coffin and his shoe company, at which he spent the next twenty years. Eventually, he established his own shoe factory named Coffin and Clough in Lynn.
In 1883, he was approached by another Lynn businessman, Silas A. Barton, to bring to town a struggling electric company from New Britain, Connecticut, finance it and lead it. With the engineering work of Elihu Thomson and Edwin J. Houston, Coffin was able to build up the company, renamed Thomson-Houston Electric Company, to be equal to Thomas Edison's companies.
In 1892, the company Edison had established to market his products, the Edison General Electric Company, merged with a competitor, the Thomson-Houston Electric Company, to form a new firm, the General Electric Company.
Edison would not remain part of the company for long. In 1893, he sold his stake in General Electric for a reported 2.5 million, or more than $430 million in today’s dollars, according to G.E. Coffin became GE's first president, a post he held until 1912, and remained chairman until 1922, building the firm into a generator of technological and managerial prowess. The company's market capitalization rose from $35 million in 1892 to $184 million when he retired.
According to en.wikipedia and the new york times