MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – Officials with Medtronic said Sunday that co-founder Earl Bakken has died.

Bakken was 94 years old.

In a Facebook post, Medtronic officials say Bakken died peacefully at his home on Sunday. He was a pioneer and visionary that helped lay the foundation for medical technology.

Bakken developed the first external battery-powered, transistorized heart pacemaker and commercialized the first implantable pacemaker in 1960. Bakken and his brother-in-law, Palmer Hermundslie, grew Medtronic from a struggling operation in Bakken’s Minneapolis garage to a multinational medical technology company.

Bakken received his own pacemaker in 2001 and had a second one fitted in 2009.

Medtronics chairman and CEO Omar Ishtak says the contributions Bakken made to the field of medical technology cannot be overstated.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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