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Gary K. Michelson; Forbes 400: The Richest People in America [Joumana Saad. Forbes] [2008-09-18]

Forbes 400: The Richest People in America featuring Dr. Gary K. Michelson

Context

Gary K. Michelson featured on Forbes 400: The Richest People in America 2008 Video Overview

September 18, 2008

In 2008, Forbes provided an overview of the the 400 richest americans on a list entitled, “Forbes 400: Richest People in America”. Dr. Gary K. Michelson was featured as #321 on this list in 2008. What follows is a video overview of Gary K. Michelson circa 2008 following the Medtronic trial and settlement which took place four years earlier in Nashville, TN.

Transcript

Joumana Saad, Forbes.com Reporter: Dr. Gary Michelson is best known as the medical inventor who got mega rich in the courtroom. In 2004, Michelson settled a patents lawsuit against medical manufacturer Medtronic.

He walked away with $1.35 billion. While working as a doctor in Inglewood, California, Michelson put his effort into inventing instruments that would make back surgery easier. His licensing and patents turned into lawsuits with big companies, in which he won a few, pushing up his wealth.

Michelson the philanthropist has funded medical research through his own $100 million foundation, in New York’s Hereditary Disease Foundation. Today Michelson has his focus on another issue: unwanted animals. His Found Animals foundation works to minimize overpopulation and keep unwanted cats and dogs from shelters that euthanize. For more faces of the Forbes 400, please check out Forbes’ list of the richest Americans.

Press Excerpt

Forbes: The 400 Richest Americans #321 Gary Michelson

September 17, 2008
YEAR 2008
NET WORTH $1.5 billion
SOURCE Health care, self made
HOMETOWN Los Angeles, CA, United States
EDUCATION Temple University, Bachelor of Arts / Science Hahnemann Medical College, Medical Doctor
  • Temple U. grad studied medicine at Hahnemann (now part of Drexel U.).
  • Made first fortune as a surgeon inventing spinal implants.
  • Settled nasty intellectual property lawsuit with medical device maker Medtronic in 2005.
  • Payoff: $1.4 billion.
  • Set up 2 foundations funded by investment gains: one to support scientific research, the other to save unloved pets.
  • Has planted 3.5 million trees in Costa Rica since 1999; now expanding reforestation program to Panama.
Gary K. Michelson, M.D. poses in Memphis, Tennessee on September 8, 2004. Michelson created devices, tools and surgical procedures that made it easier and less painful for people to have back surgery and signed agreements in 1994 with a company later bought by Medtronic. Jurors who ordered Medtronic Inc. to pay $159 million last month for violating contracts covering spinal-implant products today awarded an additional $400 million in punitive damages to their inventor, a Los Angeles surgeon. (Credit: Scott Hartsfield/Bloomberg via Getty Images) {94888910}Gary K. Michelson, M.D. poses in Memphis, Tennessee on September 8, 2004. Michelson created devices, tools and surgical procedures that made it easier and less painful for people to have back surgery and signed agreements in 1994 with a company later bought by Medtronic. Jurors who ordered Medtronic Inc. to pay $159 million last month for violating contracts covering spinal-implant products today awarded an additional $400 million in punitive damages to their inventor, a Los Angeles surgeon. (Credit: Scott Hartsfield/Bloomberg via Getty Images) {94888910}

Former attorney Marc Marmaro, attorney Robert G. Krupka of Kirkland and Ellis and Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D. of Karlin Technology, Inc., walk together in Memphis, Tennessee on September 8, 2004. (Credit: Scott Hartsfield/Bloomberg via Getty Images) {94888904}Former attorney Marc Marmaro, attorney Robert G. Krupka of Kirkland and Ellis and Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D. of Karlin Technology, Inc., walk together in Memphis, Tennessee on September 8, 2004. (Credit: Scott Hartsfield/Bloomberg via Getty Images) {94888904}

Former attorney Marc Marmaro, attorney Robert G. Krupka and Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D. of Karlin Technology, Inc., walk together in Memphis, Tennessee on September 8, 2004. (Credit: Scott Hartsfield/Bloomberg via Getty Images) {94888923}Former attorney Marc Marmaro, attorney Robert G. Krupka and Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D. of Karlin Technology, Inc., walk together in Memphis, Tennessee on September 8, 2004. (Credit: Scott Hartsfield/Bloomberg via Getty Images) {94888923}

Quotes
Joumana Saad, Forbes.com Reporter:

While working as a doctor in Inglewood, California, Michelson put his effort into inventing instruments that would make back surgery easier. His licensing and patents turned into lawsuits with big companies, in which he won a few, pushing up his wealth.

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