Amar Bose bigraphy, stories - An Bengali American electrical engineer, sound engineer and billionaire entrepreneur

Amar Bose : biography

November 2, 1929 -

Amar Gopal Bose (Bengali: অমর গোপাল বসু ; born November 2, 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American entrepreneur, electrical engineer and sound engineer. He is the founder and chairman of Bose Corporation. In 2011, he donated a majority of the company in form of non-voting shares to Massachusetts Institute of Technology to sustain and advance MIT’s education and research mission.

In the year 2007 he was listed in Forbes 400 as 271st richest man in the world, with a net worth of $1.8 billion. In 2009, he had dropped off the billionaire list, and made it back onto the list in 2011, with a net worth of $1.0 billion.

Honors and Awards

  • Elected Fellow of IEEE, 1972 - for contributions to loudspeaker design, two-state amplifier-modulators, and nonlinear systems.
  • The 2010 IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award, for "outstanding contributions to consumer electronics in sound reproduction, industrial leadership, and engineering education".
  • In 2011, he was listed at #9 on the MIT150 list of the top 150 innovators and ideas from MIT.

Early life and education

Bose was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Noni Gopal Bose and an American mother. His father was a Bengali freedom revolutionary who, having been imprisoned for his political activities, fled Calcutta in the 1920s in order to avoid further prosecution by the British colonial police.

Bose first displayed his entrepreneurial skills and his interest in electronics at age thirteen when, during the World War II years, he enlisted school friends as co-workers in a small home business repairing model trains and home radios, to supplement his family's income.

After graduating from Abington Senior High School in Abington, Pennsylvania, Bose enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating with an SB (Bachelor of Science) in Electrical Engineering in the early 1950s. Bose spent a year in Eindhoven, Netherlands, in the research labs at NV Philips Electronics and a year in New Delhi, India, as a Fulbright research student where he met his future wife (from whom he is now divorced). He completed his PhD in Electrical Engineering from MIT, writing a thesis on non-linear systems.

His son, Vanu Bose, is the founder and CEO of Vanu, Inc., a firm whose software-based radio technology provides a wireless infrastructure that enables individual base stations to simultaneously operate GSM, CDMA, and iDEN protocols for cellphone voice and data transmission.


Following graduation, Bose took a position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an Assistant Professor. During his early years as a professor, Bose bought a high-end stereo speaker system in 1956 and he was disappointed to find that speakers with impressive technical specifications failed to reproduce the realism of a live performance. This would eventually motivate his extensive speaker technology research, concentrating on key weaknesses in the high-end speaker systems available at the time. His research on acoustics led him to invent a stereo loudspeaker that would reproduce, in a domestic setting, the dominantly reflected sound field that characterizes the listening space of the audience in a concert hall. His focus on psychoacoustics later became a hallmark of his company's audio products.

For initial capital to fund his company in 1964, Bose turned to angel investors, including his MIT thesis advisor and professor, Dr. Y. W. Lee. Bose was awarded significant patents in two fields that continue to be important to the Bose Corporation. These patents were in the area of loud speaker design and non-linear, two-state modulated, Class-D, power processing. Today, the company Bose built employs more than 9,000 people worldwide and produces products for home, car, and professional audio, as well as conducting basic research in acoustics and other fields.

In addition to running his company, Bose remained a professor at MIT until 2001. In 2011, Bose donated a majority of the company's non-voting shares to MIT on the condition that the shares never be sold. Gift to MIT from Amar Bose Raises Tax Questions by Stephanie Strom, New York Times 30 April 2011

Bose says that his best ideas usually come to him in a flash. "These innovations are not the result of rational thought; it's an intuitive idea."

Living octopus

Living octopus

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