Earl Bakken was an American businessman, philanthropist and engineer. He is best known for founding Medtronic where he developed the first external, battery-operated, transistorized, wearable artificial pacemaker in 1957. Earl Bakken net worth before his death is estimated to be around $20 million.
Bakken was born on January 10, 1924 in Minnesota, United States. From a childhood, he had an interest in electricity and electronics. To pursue his dream, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1949 and then electrical engineering with a minor in mathematics at the University of Minnesota Graduate School.
With his brother in law, Bakken founded Medtronic in a small garage working with the University of Minnesota Hospital. In late 1950s, he made a battery-powered transistorized pacemaker and successfully tested in the laboratory.
Over the several years, Bakken and Medtronic worked with several doctors to develop fully implantable pacemakers. In 1989, he retired from Medtronic and moved to Kona District of Hawaii. He used to visit the company sometimes a year to meet new employees and explain the Medtronic Mission to them in person.
Medtronic is now a world’s largest medical equipment development companies in the world. It operates in more than 140 countries and employs over 85,000 people.
On October 21, 2018 Bakken died at his Hawaii home. He was 94 years old.