About Dr. Henry Nicholas, Founder of Marsy’s Law For All

Henry Thompson “Nick” Nicholas III (born 1959), is the co-founder, and former co-chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Broadcom Corporation, a Fortune 500 company. He is also a philanthropist and leader of the victim’s rights movement.

Nicholas was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to Marcella and Henry T. Nicholas, II, and lived in Glendale, Ohio until he was 4 years old. His father was an attorney with the IRS and his mother was a teacher and later an administrator and theater instructor in the area’s Princeton City School District. When his parents divorced, he moved with his mother and sister to Los Angeles, California.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the UCLA School of Engineering in 1982, after attending the United States Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Nicholas earned a Master’s degree in 1985 and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UCLA in 1998. His doctoral advisor was Henry Samueli. His doctoral dissertation on “Architectures, Optimization Techniques, and VLSI Implementations for Direct Digital Frequency Synthesizers” became the basis for the development of the chip that launched Broadcom.

After graduating from UCLA in the 1980s, Nicholas worked at TRW in Redondo Beach, where he met Dr. Henry Samueli, his future business partner who also was a professor of engineering at UCLA.

Nicholas founded Broadcom with Samueli in the spare bedroom of Nicholas’ Redondo Beach condominium in 1991. Each invested $5,000 of his own money to get the business off the ground. They took the company public in 1998. Nicholas stepped down as CEO from Broadcom in 2003.

The Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation focuses on improving the quality of life through investments in education, youth sports, medicine, technology, law enforcement and national defense.

Henry Nicholas’ sister, Marsalee, was shot to death by her ex-boyfriend in 1983, while Nicholas was in graduate school. Nicholas helped his mother and stepfather—Marcella and Robert Leach—found Justice for Homicide Victims, Inc., a non-profit organization that supports the families of murder victims.

Nicholas went on to be the founder of the campaign for Marsy’s Law, a bill of rights for the victims of crime, named after his sister. California voters amended the state’s constitution in 2008 by passing Marsy’s Law with a majority of 53.84 percent.

In 2009, Nicholas formed Marsy’s Law for All, which provides expertise and resources to victims’ rights organizations nationwide which would ensure victims’ rights for all Americans.

During his tenure as Broadcom CEO Nicholas was the recipient of an Orange County Titan Award, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Electronics, was named as one of the Top 20 Entrepreneurs by Red Herring magazine and one of the World’s Top 50 Cyber Elite by Time Digital Magazine.

Since leaving Broadcom, Nicholas has been involved in various legal reform efforts, including fighting against California Proposition 66.

Of the numerous awards he has received, Dr. Nicholas has been awarded:

  • Ronald Reagan Award for Pioneering Achievement in Victims’ Rights
  • UCI 1st recipient of UCI School of Engineering “Engineering The Future” award to recognize outstanding achievements in engineering, leadership and industry
  • UCLA School of Engineering Alumni of the Year Award
  • Crime Victims United Award for work on Proposition 66
  • Orange County District Attorney Office 2005 Public Safety Award for Prop 66
  • Lifetime Achievement Award by The Joyful Child Foundation
  • Parents of Murdered Children, Inc (POMC) Empty Shoe Award (October 8, 2010)
  • Crime Survivors Star Light, Star Bright award for contribution to crime victims’ rights.
  • Assemblyman Todd Spitzer’s Yes on Prop 9: Marsy’s Law Committee In Pursuit of Justice Award for 2008
  • IEEE Frederik Philips Award 2014