Lonnie G. Johnson
Late 1980s -- It took him a long time to get the recognition but last year, Lonnie G. Johnson was officially compensated for inventing the super soaker. Born in Alabama in 1949, Johnson is a graduate of Tuskegee University (former teaching home to , George Washington Carver). During his time in the U.S. Air Force Johnson worked on several inventions, including a prototype that would later become the super soaker. He sold the toy to the Larami Corporation to mass produce the toy, now noted among the Top 20 best-selling toys in the world.
Johnson has since earned more than 100 patents and in November 2013 won a $72.9 million lawsuit against Hasbro for royalties from his super soaker, and Nerf line of products.