Morton M. Mower, an American cardiologist and co-inventor of the automated implanted cardioverter defibrillator, was born on January 31, 1933 and died on April 25, 2022.
He worked at Sinai Hospital and Cardiac Pacemakers Inc. in a variety of capacities. He joined Mower Research Associates as chairman and chief executive officer in 1996.
He and Michel Mirowski co-developed the automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator in the 1970s, and he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002.
He continued his study at Johns Hopkins University’s biomechanical engineering laboratory.
Morton Mower grew up in Frederick, Maryland, after being born in Baltimore. His mother reared three children while his father worked as a shoe repairman.
Mower worked at his Uncle Sam’s salt-water bathhouses in Atlantic City during the summers when he was in elementary school. He got a job as a salesman at his uncle’s toy store on the Atlantic City beachfront not long after.
Mower’s uncle became ill when he was 15 years old, and a family physician made frequent house calls to treat him.
The exceptional level of patient care delivered by the family physician inspired Mower. Mower applied to Johns Hopkins University to study medicine as a result.
Mower was selected co-investigator of a coronary drug project during his fellowship at Sinai Hospital in 1966. Then, in 1969, he began working with Michel Mirowski, an Israeli physician, on an implantable heart defibrillator.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Mower worked at Sinai Hospital in a variety of capacities.
He worked as a research associate in the Cardiopulmonary Laboratory, as well as the Division of Cardiology’s acting administrative director, acting chief of cardiology, and chief of cardiology.
At Sinai Hospital, Mower also served as secretary-treasurer, vice-president, and president of the medical staff.
Mower joined Cardiac Pacemakers Inc. in St. Paul, Minnesota, as vice president of medical science in 1989. He devised and implemented medical education studies while at Cardiac Pacemakers.
He worked as a senior consultant for Guidant Corporation, a Boston Scientific subsidiary that makes cardiovascular medical devices, from 1995 to 1996.
In 1996, he became chairman and chief executive officer of Baltimore, Maryland-based Mower Research Associates.
A number of cardiologists questioned the AICD’s clinical viability.
“The very rare patient with frequent bouts of ventricular fibrillation is best treated in a coronary care unit and is better served by an effective antiarrhythmic program or surgical correction of inadequate coronary blood flow or ventricular malfunction,” wrote Bernard Lown, the inventor of the external defibrillator, in the journal Circulation in 1972.
In actuality, the implanted defibrillator system is a flawed solution in quest of a feasible and practical application.
How Did Morton Mower Die?
On April 25, 2022, Mower died of cancer at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver.