Alfred E. Mann, after whom the Mann Biomedical Park in Santa Clarita Valleywas named, died on February 25 at the age of 90. As an inventor, entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist with a track record of prolific successes, he left a lasting legacy after creating 17 companies over the course of seven decades, amassing a personal fortune valued at more than $2 billion in 2007.From aerospace to pharmaceuticals to medical devices, Mann is known for its uncanny ability to turn inventions into marketable products and his insatiable appetite for work. According to Los Angeles Times, even up to his death, Mann was hard at work. David Hankin, chief executive of Santa Clarita-based Alfred Mann Foundation, was quoted as saying “that’s a common thing – I walk into the room, he’s working, and he wants to finish something before we can talk. That is very much Al Mann.”
Born in Portland Oregon in 1925 to an English immigrant father (grocer) and a Polish immigrant mother (singer and pianist), Mann earned a physics degree from UCLA. After creating and selling two aerospace companies, he turned his attention to medical devices in 1969 after he was asked to create a long-lasting peacemaker by Johns Hopkins University. His biggest success was MiniMed, a company that developed insulin pumps to treat diabetes. The company was sold to MedTronic for $3.3 billion in 2001. Most of the companies founded by Mann were based in Santa Clarita or the San Fernando Valley.
Mann was also behind the development of the Mann Biomedical Park, which he purchased in 2002 to house medical device companies he created to manufacture products based on his own inventions. Today, the campus is home to Bioness, Boston Scientific, Qualion and the Alfred E. Mann Foundation. The nearly 120-acre biomedical business center, in its new ownership, is surrounded by a park-like setting and is ideally suited for biomedical and tech companies.