Lived: August 9, 1923 – May 25, 1979
Why you should know him: An Israeli scientist and author, Bentov’s inventions include the steerable cardiac catheter
Born to a Jewish family in Czechoslovakia, Itzhak Bentov lost his parents in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust, narrowly escaping the same fate himself.
Escaping the Nazis, Bentov made aliyah (immigrated to the Holy Land), first settling on a kibbutz in the Negev desert.
Despite no degree, Bentov joined the IDF’s Israeli Science Corps, designing Israel’s first rocket for the 1948 War of Independence. He was forced to make improvised weapons due to the international embargo on selling weapons to Israel.
After moving to the U.S. in the 1960s, Bentov co-founded the Medi-Tech corporation. He also invented many different things, including the steerable cardiac catheter, diet spaghetti, automobile brake shoes, EKG electrodes, and pacemaker leads.
Bentov was killed in 1979 when he was a passenger on American Flight 191, which crashed shortly after takeoff from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. He was remembered as “a very inventive person” by his co-founder of Medi-Tech, and was remembered by his daughter Sharona in her 2005 book, The Book of Telling: Tracing the Secrets of My Father’s Lives.Tags: Israelis You Should Know Video