American pacemaker inventor and museum founder, Earl Bakken, Died at 94

Earl E. Bakken was born on January 10, 1924, in Columbia Heights, Minnesota, and died on October 21, 2018.

He was an American engineer, businessman, and philanthropist of Dutch and Norwegian American ancestry.

Earl Bakken was the founder Medtronic, where he invented his first external, battery-operated, transistorized, wearable artificial pacemaker in 1957.

He had an obsession with electricity and electronics.

Earl was a self-described “nerd”, Bakken designed a rudimentary electroshock weapon in school to fend off bullies.

Upon completing his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1948, Bakken studied electrical engineering with a minor in mathematics at the University of Minnesota Graduate School.

At the time of Post-World War II, the hospitals started to employ electronic equipment but did not have the staff to maintain and repair them.

During 2001, Medtronic started the construction of its new European distribution center in Heerlen, The Netherlands. The street in which the facility was built has been named after Bakken.

He died at his Hawaii home.

Earl Bakken passed away at 94 years old.

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