Icebox Framing and Gallery Photography by Howard M. Christopherson
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  Earl E. Bakken İHMC 2001  
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I had the most fortunate opportunity to meet and photograph a wonderful man Mr. Earl Bakken. I made this casual portrait on his first day in his new office in the just occupied, Medtronic World Headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Earl Bakken who now makes Hawaii his home was in town for a Medtronic holiday function. Earl Bakken began his pioneering bio-medical work only blocks away from the Icebox Gallery in a garage.

In 1949, Earl Bakken co-founded Medtronic, Inc., as a partnership with the late Palmer J. Hermundslie. Bakken was Medtronic's Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board from the company's incorporation in 1957 until 1976. He was senior Chairman of the Board until his retirement as an officer of Medtronic in April 1989. As Founder and Director Emeritus, Bakken remains active in company relationships involving customers and employees, focusing primarily on the company's mission in the bioengineering industry as outlined in Medtronic's mission statement.

Bakken developed the first wearable, external, battery-powered, transistorized pacemaker in 1957 for Dr. C. Walton Lillehei, a University of Minnesota heart surgeon. He has authored several professional papers and delivered numerous speeches to medical, technical, educational and business groups throughout the world.

In 1975 he founded The Bakken, a nonprofit library, museum, and education center devoted to the history of electricity and magnetism and their uses in medicine and the life sciences. The Bakken's collection of rare books and antique instruments and devices has grown to be the finest of its kind in the world. The education programs of The Bakken are renowned for their integration of hands-on learning, history, and the arts. The Bakken museum is located on the South West side of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis.

In retirement, Bakken has headed the Board of Directors of the Five Mountain Medical Community in the development of the North Hawaii Community Hospital; Tutu's House, a Community Resource Center; Jobs and Careers; Education Incentives; Care Reimbursement; and Measurement of Health Outcomes, in order to improve the health of the 30,000 people of Northwest Hawaii.

Medtronic, Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis, is the world's leading medical technology company, providing lifelong solutions for people with chronic disease. The company serves markets in 120 countries.