Paul W. Klipsch, founder of Klipsch Audio Technologies, died on May 5, 2002. He was 98.
Born on March 9, 1904, in Elkhart, Indiana, Klipsch is best known for his contributions in revolutionizing the audio world. After being drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II, in which he served for ballistics and photography and ultimately was discharged with the rank of major, Klipsch decided to commit his life to building loudspeakers. After continued research and experimentation, he was granted patents and trademarks, including his first patent for horn design. Throughout his life, Klipsch had 3 patents in ballistics, 8 in geophysics and 12 in acoustics (he actually had more patents in oil exploration technology, which stemmed from his time as a petroleum engineer in Texas). He registered the name Klipsch and Associates in 1946, though his first employee wasn't hired until 1948.
CEO Fred S. Klipsch remembered Paul W. Klipsch as a legend in sound. "Stories of Paul's lasting wit and superior intellect were indeed true, which is what often made it difficult to accept the fact that he was 98 years old. That is, in fact, the correct age, despite rumors and Rolling Stone magazine articles that cite ranges from 90 to 103. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the myth, the lore and the absolute truth about our legendary founder.
"Paul's indisputable genius and one-of-a-kind personality touched so many lives for so many years that there are now hundreds of stories about him being told and retold—from the funny to the profound.
"It has been said that every time you listen to recorded music, you're hearing the passion, the genius and the legacy of Paul Klipsch. He was a verifiable genius who could have chosen any number of vocations, but the world sounds a lot better because he chose audio. The integrity of Klipsch was beyond reproach. He was a great man who always did the right thing in the right way."
In honor and in memory of Klipsch, Klipsch Audio Technologies has published the family’s obituary on its Web site (klipsch.com). The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Paul Klipsch Scholarship Fund at New Mexico State University.