Monday, May 6, 2013

Getting to Know... Bill Austin

Born in Oregon, Bill Austin dropped out of the University of Minnesota to start his own hearing-aid repair company. Austin is founder of Starkey Laboratories in suburban Minneapolis, the largest US maker of hearing aids. It made him a multimillionaire. His major contribution to hearing health was the invention of in-the-canal hearing aids in the early 1980s. Starkey sells about one million hearing aids a year through 30 factories worldwide. His clients include five U.S. presidents and celebrities (such as Sting, and Dolly Parton). The Starkey Hearing Foundation has given out tens of thousands of the devices to the poor. He was honored by Variety International (a major children's charity) as Humanitarian of the Year.

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