Earl Bakken celebrates 90th birthday
Big Island residents and visitors celebrated North Hawaii Community Hospital founder, Hawaii Island philanthropist and pacemaker inventor Earl Bakken’s 90th birthday Monday.
The celebration occurred at the hospital, where attendees enjoyed cake and ice cream. There was also a proclamation from the county by Mayor Billy Kenoi, which declared Jan. 10, 2014, as “Earl Bakken Day.”
Bakken became involved in the development of the hospital in Waimea in the early 1990s. He was born Jan. 10, 1924, in Columbia Heights, Minn.
In 1949, Bakken cofounded a company called Medtronic to service medical electronic equipment. On Oct. 31, 1957, because of a blackout in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., life-threatening problems caused the death of a sick infant known as a blue baby. One month later, Medtronic created the first wearable, battery-powered, transistorized, external cardiac pacemaker.
In 1984, The National Society of Professional Engineers named the invention of the cardiac pacemaker one of the 10 outstanding engineering achievements of the second half of the 20th century. In 1989, Bakken retired from Medtronic and moved to Kiholo Bay.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.