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Beckman Coulter Founder, Arnold Beckman, Dies at 104

NEW YORK, May 20 (GenomeWeb News) - Arnold Orville Beckman, founder and chairman emeritus of Beckman Coulter, died May 18  at Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, Calif. He was 104, and died in his sleep, according to the company.

 

He is survived by his son, Arnold Stone Beckman; daughter, Patricia Beckman; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. His wife Mabel Meinzer Beckman died in 1989.

Beckman, who was born on April 10, 1900, in Cullom, Ill., founded Beckman Instruments in 1935 and began selling a pH meter, which was one of his first inventions. The product earned him a place in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1987. In total, Beckman registered 14 patents.

 

He was also a philanthropist. Through the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, which he formed with his wife, Mabel, in 1977, Beckman contributed more than $400 million to help support scientific research and education, Beckman Coulter said.

Beckman received the 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Inventor's Hall of Fame, and his pH meter, one of his first inventions, was designated as a National Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society. US President Ronald Reagan presented him with the 1988 National Medal of Technology and the 1989 Presidential Citizens Medal, and President George HW Bush awarded him the 1989 National Medal of Science. In 1999, Beckman received the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences.

He earned his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and a master's degree in physical chemistry from the Universityof Illinoisat Urbana-Champaign. He received a doctorate in photochemistry from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., where he taught between 1928 and 1940.

 

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