November 2, 1929
|Died||July 12, 2013(aged 83)|
|Alma mater||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Occupation||Founder and Chairman of Bose Corporation|
|Net worth||$1 billion (2011)|
|Spouse(s)||Prema Bose (divorced)|
Amar Bose (Bengali:অমোর বসু) (November 2, 1929 – July 12, 2013) was a Bengali American academic and entrepreneur. An electrical engineer and sound engineer, he was a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for over 45 years.1 He was also the founder and chairman of Bose Corporation. In 2011, he donated a majority of the company to MIT in the form of non-voting shares to sustain and advance MIT’s education and research mission.2
In 2007 he was listed in Forbes 400 as the 271st richest man in the world, with a net worth of $1.8 billion.3 In 2009, he was no longer on the billionaire list, but returned to the list in 2011, with a net worth of $1.0 billion.4
Bose was born in a Bengali Hindu family and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to a Bengali father, Noni Gopal Bose and an American mother, Charlotte. His father was an Indian freedom revolutionary5 who, having been imprisoned for his political activities, fled Bengal in the 1920s in order to avoid further persecution by the British colonial police.6 His mother, Charlotte, is described as an American schoolteacher of French and German ancestry,7 but Bose described her as "more Bengali than me. She was a vegetarian and deeply interested in Vedanta and Hindu philosophy".8
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.9
After graduating from Abington Senior High School in Abington, Pennsylvania, Bose enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating with a BS (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 as a Fulbright research student in New Delhi, India, where he met his future first wife. He completed his PhD in Electrical Engineering from MIT, writing a thesis on non-linear systems under the supervision of Norbert Wiener and Yuk-Wing Lee.
Following graduation, Bose became an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 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 loudspeaker design and non-linear, two-state modulated, Class-D power processing.
The company Bose founded now 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. Bose never made his company public, and since the company was privately held Bose was able to pursue risky long-term research. In a 2004 interview in Popular Science magazine, he said: "I would have been fired a hundred times at a company run by MBAs. But I never went into business to make money. I went into business so that I could do interesting things that hadn't been done before."10
Starting in the 1980s, Bose developed an electromagnetic replacement for automotive shock absorbers. This technical breakthrough enables radically improved performance of automotive suspension systems, absorbing bumps and road shock while controlling car body motions and sway.10
Bose said that his best ideas usually came to him in a flash. "These innovations are not the result of rational thought; it's an intuitive idea."11
He married Prema Bose, but later divorced.when?} They had two children, Vanu and Maya, as well as three grandchildren: Varun, Aratrika, and Uday. 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.12
In addition to running his company, Bose remained a professor at MIT until 2001. He earned the Baker Teaching Award in 1963-64, and further teaching awards over the years. The Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching (1989), and later the Junior Bose Award (1995) were established in his honor, to recognize outstanding teaching in the MIT School of Engineering.15
In 2011, Bose donated a majority of the company's non-voting shares to MIT on the condition that the shares never be sold.16 Because these shares are non-voting, MIT does not participate in operations or governance of Bose Corporation.15
- Fellow, IEEE, 1972 - for contributions to loudspeaker design, two-state amplifier-modulators, and nonlinear systems.
- Honorary member, Audio Engineering Society, 1985.
- The 2010 IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award, for "outstanding contributions to consumer electronics in sound reproduction, industrial leadership, and engineering education".17
- In 2011, he was listed at #9 on the MIT150 list of the top 150 innovators and ideas from MIT.
- Beryllium Lifetime Achievement Award, Association of Loudspeaker Manufacturing & Acoustics International, 2014.
- Rifkin, Glenn (July 12, 2013). "Amar G. Bose, Acoustic Engineer and Inventor, Dies at 83". New York Times.
- "Amar Bose ’51 makes stock donation to MIT". MIT. 2011-04-29. Retrieved 2012-02-05.
- "Four Indian Americans make it to Forbes list". www.expressindia. Archived from the original on February 16, 2008. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
- "Amar Bose's profile". www.forbes.com. Retrieved April 2, 2011.
- "Rich & Famous In The US | Padma Rao Sundarji". Outlookindia.com. 1996-05-22. Retrieved 2012-07-21.
- Lemley, Brad (2004-10-01). "Discover Dialogue: Amar G. Bose". Discover Magazine. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
- Distinguished Asian Americans: A Biographical Dictionary — Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
- Shivanand Kanavi (2007-07-26). "reflections: Amar Bose-A Portrait". Reflections-shivanand.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
- Siliconeer: January 2005
- Clynes, Tom (July 15, 2013; originally published December 2004). "The Curious Genius Of Amar Bose". Popular Science. Popular Science. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
- Popular Science Dec 2004
- Shenoy, M. J. A. (1999-07-26). "Bose And Bose Vs MIT". Rediff. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
- Amar Bose, Pioneer of High-End Audio, Dies at 83 (Subscription required.)
- "Amar, Bose of sound, is dead at 83". The Hindu. 1929-11-02. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
- Nickerson, Nate (July 12, 2013). "Amar Bose ’51, SM ’52, ScD ’56, Bose Corporation’s founder, has died at 83". MIT News. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
- Gift to MIT from Amar Bose Raises Tax Questions by Stephanie Strom. New York Times. April 30, 2011.
- "IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award Recipients". IEEE. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- Short biography of Amar Gopal Bose
- Bose at MIT
- Doctoral Thesis
- Bose Breakthrough: Electromagnetic Auto Suspension
- A History of Bose
- Discover Dialogue: Amar G. Bose
- Bose Founder Discusses Audio Perfection and Digital Music
- Amar Gopal Bose at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- Business India -Interview; July; 2007