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In 1922, the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) selected Lee de Forest as the fifth recipient of its Medal of Honor. He was cited for "his major contributions to the communications arts and sciences, as particularly exemplified by his invention of that outstandingly significant device: the three-electrode vacuum tube, and his work in the fields of radio telephonic transmission and reception". He served a term as president of the IRE in 1930. He also received the Edison Medal of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) in 1946, becoming one of only seven to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Edison Medal prior to 1962. He became known for having a rather flamboyant personality and was a very prolific inventor, receiving more than 300 patents during his career. Like some other pioneers in radio and electronics, he expended considerable time and energy on litigation related to his patents.