BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) Wilson Greatbatch, the Akron inventor who created the first heart pacemaker, died Tuesday morning.
Greatbatch, who was in failing health, died at the Canterbury Woods complex where he had been a resident for the past few years. Greatbatch was 92.
An engineer by training, Greatbatch invented the pacemaker more than 50 years ago. It was first and successfully implanted in a human in the early 1960s. The pacemaker was selected by National Society of Professional Engineers, in 1984, as one of the 10 outstanding U.S. engineering achievements in the past 50 years.
Greatbatch used the pacemaker as the foundation for his creation of Wilson Greatbatch Ltd., produces the lithium batteries used in the device. Wilson Greatbatch Ltd. is one of the region's major employers.
Greatbatch holds more than 150 U.S. and foreign patents.
As part of his philanthropic donations across the Buffalo Niagara region, Greatbatch and his late wife, Eleanor, helped finance the Darwin Martin House visitor's center complex. The center's pavilion was named after the Greatbatches.