“I appreciated the care that my late wife and my current wife have received at the hospital throughout the years,” Fischell said of the donation. “So why not give back?”
Beyond disproving his father’s dire prediction for his life, Fischell held fast to his determination not to repeat his father’s parenting missteps.
He is close to his three sons -- a physicist, a cardiologist and a business executive — who work with him on developing medical devices through the 14 private companies he has founded since 1969 to license his patents.
Their collaboration has been financially fruitful: The Fischells receive a $12 royalty on each coronary stent, for example, and have so far accumulated $120 million on that device alone, he says.
Fischell and Susan, his former secretary, have been married for seven years. His first wife, Marian, whom he cherished, died of leukemia in 2005 after the couple had been married for 54 years.
Fischell serves on the boards of seven corporations and five nonprofit organizations and replies to 70 or so e-mails a day. He is devoted to helping mankind and calls humanism his religion.
“I am not all work and no play, though,” Fischell quickly adds. He plays doubles tennis as often as three times a week and says spending time with his wife is “a highlight of my day.”
While Fischell modestly claims he has “never done anything complicated” in his life, Bentley seeks to clarify that statement.
“His inventions are so painfully simple in the end, but that’s what’s needed for commercialization,” he says.
“Bob is such a generous individual who cares deeply about people and giving back to society,” Bentley adds. “Having a research arm [on campus] will enable us to create the people who will create the new medical devices. That will allow us to find the next Bob Fischell -- and that’s huge.”