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GOODMAN, LESTER

GOODMAN, LESTER (18 June 1927-12 Apr. 1993) was a pioneer researcher in biomedical engineering who worked on perfecting the pacemaker and led early development of the artificial heart.

Born in Cleveland to Albert and Shirley (Itskovitz) Goodman, Lester graduated from Glenville High School (1945) and received his B.S. (1956), M.S. (1959), and Ph.D. (1962) from Case Institute of Technology.

Returning to Cleveland in 1949, after serving as a Navy radar technician, Goodman helped in his father's business, Goodman Salvage Co. and attended Case. He was a research assistant in mechanical engineering (1956-57) and one of the first to earn a doctorate in the newly emerging field of biomedical engineering.

Remaining at CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY, Goodman advanced from engineering instructor (1957) to assistant professor then associate professor (1965). From 1962-65 he was assistant director of the Systems Research Center.

In 1965 Goodman joined the National Institutes of Health and worked on developing the synthetic materials used in the first experimental artificial hearts. In 1967 he announced the discovery of a plastic material which promised to be useful in biomedicine. He became chief of the Biomedical Engineering and Instrumentation Branch of the NIH, serving until 1975.

Goodman was president (1969) of the newly formed Alliance for Engineering in Medicine and Biology, became an international lecturer, and was awarded numerous honors. He was director (1975-1983) of the Biomed Engineering Division, Meditronic Inc. of Minneapolis, perfecting new designs for pacemakers. He was a visiting professor (1980-81), and associate director of the Engineering Design Center, CWRU.

On 1 July 1951 Goodman married Jacqueline Arnoff. They had four children, Clifford, Kenneth, Daniel and Rebecca. Goodman died in Alexandria, Virginia.