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UPDATE: Alfred E. Mann, investor and philanthropist, dies at 90

Posted: February 26, 2016 11:10 a.m.
Updated: February 26, 2016 6:28 p.m.
Alfred E. Mann. Alfred E. Mann.
Alfred E. Mann.
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Editor's note: Updates with details throughout.

Alfred E. Mann, a beloved philanthropist and entrepreneur who was a pioneer in the biomedical, aerospace and pharmaceuticals fields, has died, an official with MannKind Corp. said Friday. He was 90.

Matthew Pfeffer, chief executive officer with the Valencia-based biomedical device maker, confirmed Mann diedon Thursday in Las Vegas.

His death comes just days after he notified officials at MannKind Corp. that he was resigning as executive chairman of its board without giving any reason. Mann, who had served as chairman since 2001, notified the company Feb. 17.

The son of an immigrant grocer, Mann earned millions of dollars by producing pacemakers for heart patients and insulin pumps to help treat diabetics through companies he founded in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Mann’s pioneering work included development of the first rechargeable pacemaker and inhalable insulin.

“He was a truly great man,” Pfeffer said. “He was a friend, a mentor and an inspiration, not only to me, but to everyone he touched here at MannKind. He did so many things to benefit humanity.

Pfeffer said services were in the works Friday. In lieu of flowers, Mann’s family is asking that mourners send donations to the Alfred Mann Foundation, Pfeffer said.

For more than 70 years, Mann — who was born in 1925 in Portland, Oregon — had the Midas touch when it came to business. He earned a fortune after founding 17 companies during his life.

Ten of his companies that he sold amassed a total of $8 billion. Three other companies, including MannKind, went public.

In 2007, Forbes magazine estimated his fortune at $2.4 billion.

Mann earned degrees in physics at the University of California Los Angeles before heading into the aerospace industry, where his firms developed solar cells, semiconductors and other technologies for America’s military and space programs.

He soon turned his attention to the biomedical industry, founding and funding Bioness, Second Sight, IncuMed, PerQFlo, Advanced Bionics and MannKind — most of which are based in Valencia.

He also founded Quallion and Stellar Microelectronics to service the aerospace field.

“We are all deeply saddened by the loss of our founder, mentor and friend, Al Mann, a pioneering leader whose contributions and vision profoundly impacted the lives of so many and whose legacy will impact many more,” Dr. Robert Greenberg, chairman of the board for Second Sight, said in a statement.

Mann Biomedical Park in Valencia, a former Lockheed facility until the early 1990s, bears his name.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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