Medtronic co-founder Earl E. Bakken, a pioneer in medical technology whose inventions impacted the lives of millions of people around the world, passed away Sunday in Hawaii. He was 94 years old.
“All of us at Medtronic are saddened today by the news of Earl’s passing,” said Omar Ishrak, chairman and CEO of Medtronic. “Earl was a true pioneer in healthcare and his vision of using technology to help people still inspires us today. We are privileged to continue the work that he started over 60 years ago and we remain fully committed to all six tenets of the Mission that he crafted so many years ago.”
Bakken turned a childhood fascination with electricity into Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device company. Along with brother-in-law Palmer J. Hermundslie, Bakken founded the company, which grew from a struggling operation in a Minneapolis garage to a multinational medical technology corporation. In the late 1950’s, Bakken developed the first external, wearable, battery-powered, transistorized heart pacemaker, and commercialized the first implantable pacemaker in 1960. Medtronic grew rapidly from there; today its medical products and devices improve the lives of two people every second… Continue reading.