The Legacy of Alfred E. Mann, 90

Alfred Mann, the namesake behind USC’s Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering, has died at the age of 90.

Mann, a renowned Los Angeles philanthropist, pioneering inventor and lifelong entrepreneur, died February 25, 2016 in Las Vegas. He founded more than a dozen companies aimed at curing serious diseases and illnesses with such biomedical innovations as the first rechargeable pacemaker, an artificial retina and inhalable insulin.

One of his companies, Second Sight Medical Products, manufactured the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis system, the first FDA-approved implanted device to re-establish sight in blind patients. The innovation was the result of a close collaboration by Keck School of Medicine of USC, the USC Eye Institute and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The USC Stevens Center for Innovation completed a patent license agreement for the technology with Second Sight to assist with commercializing the technology outside of the university. Last November, it was reported that a blind patient at the USC Eye Institute became the first in the world to receive dual retinal implants thanks to this technology.

Mann donated over $150 million in 1998 to establish and endow the Alfred E. Mann Institute at USC, which was created to help USC researchers and inventors mature their biomedical inventions into commercially successful medical products. Mann was a USC Life Trustee and received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from USC. His generosity also extended to the Thornton School of Music where the endowed Robert Mann Chair in Strings and Chamber Music was funded by Alfred and his wife Claude Mann.

For more info, read the USC News article.

–By USC Stevens staff, published March 31, 2016. Photo by Ziva Santop of Steve Cohn Photography and courtesy of USC News.