RIP: Amar Bose, Founder of Bose Corp.

Amar G. Bose, the MIT-educated electrical engineer who founded Bose Corp. in 1964 and built it into a private multibillion-dollar empire spanning home, personal, professional, and automotive audio products, died July 12. He was 83.

Bose played a key role in creating a mass market for home audio products in the late ’60s and ’70s with the introduction of the iconic Bose 901 speaker, which became an overnight sensation when it was introduced in 1968 and remained one of the company’s best-selling speakers for years. The pentagonal speaker had a unique “direct/reflecting” design with nine small drivers, eight of which were aimed toward the wall behind the speaker to create a more spacious sound.

Dr. Bose, as he was known, founded his namesake company on research he conducted at MIT where he received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering. He was also an MIT faculty member between 1956 and 2001. In 2011, Bose donated a majority of his stake in Bose Corp. to MIT in the form of non-voting shares whose dividends are used to support education and research. MIT cannot sell the shares, and does not participate in the management or governance of the company.

Bob Maresca, president of Bose, said in an official statement, “It is impossible to put into words what Dr. Bose meant to each of us, and to Bose. He was more than our Chairman. He was our teacher—always encouraging us, always believing that we could do great things, and that anything was possible.

“Dr. Bose founded Bose Corporation almost 50 years ago with a set of guiding principles that never changed, and never will. Bose Corporation will remain privately held, and stay true to his ideals. We are as committed to this as he was to us. His vision is our history, and our future, and Bose Corporation will forever be his company.”

Click here for the full text of the official statement.