It's 40 years ago today, April 3, 1973. Martin Cooper, then a senior engineer at Motorola, made a cell phone call — the first one ever.
Cooper, now age 85, tells the story of this call in an interview with the BBC, available at the link below. The call, in the presence of a journalist, was to his chief competitor Dr. Joel S. Engel, who was head of Bell Labs: "Joel, this is Marty. I'm calling you from a cell phone, a real handheld portable cell phone."
Yes, the first cell phone call was for the purpose of gloating. Cooper says that Engel tells him he doesn't remember the call.
He got $1 from Motorola for signing away the rights to all his inventions.