Medtronic Founder Dies at 94

Earl Bakken Photo: KSTP/File
Earl Bakken

October 22, 2018 10:46 AM

The founder of Minnesota-based Medtronic has died at 94, according to the company's former CEO.

Bill George tweeted Sunday that Earl Bakken died at his home in Hawaii.


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"For 94 years Earl was a visionary, humanist and pioneer," George tweeted. "He not only invented the pacemaker but created entire medical technology field. A believer in healing the whole person."

 "The contributions Earl made to the field of medical technology simply cannot be overstated," Medtronic CEO and Chairman Omar Ishrak said in a release. "His spirit will live on with us as we work to fulfill the Mission he wrote nearly 60 years ago - to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life."

Bakken and his brother-in-law Palmer Hermundslie founded Medtronic in 1949 in Northeast Minneapolis as a medical equipment repair shop. He retired as chairman in 1989.

Bakken was born in Columbia Heights and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in electrical engineering. In 2007, at the age of 83 received an honorary medical degree from his alma mater.


Anthony Brousseau

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