Forrest Bird

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Date of Birth June 9, 1921
Place of Birth Massachusetts
Date of Death Aug 2, 2015 (94)
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Forrest Bird

Forrest Morton Bird was an American aviator, inventor, and biomedical engineer. He is best known for having created some of the first reliable mass-produced mechanical ventilators for acute and chronic cardiopulmonary care.

Born: June 9, 1921, Stoughton, Massachusetts
Died: August 02, 2015, Sagle, Idaho
Nationality: American
Fields: Pulmonology, Intensive Care
Education: Doctor of Science in Aeronautics (1977), Doctor of Medicine (1979)
Alma mater: Northrop University (ScD), Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas (MD)
Academic advisors: Andre Cournad
Known for: Bird Universal Medical Respirator (1958)
Notable awards: National Inventors Hall of Fame, Presidential Citizens Medal, National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2009)
Spouses: Mary Moran (m.1945), Dominique Deckers (m. 1988), Pamela Riddle (m. 1999)
Children: Catherine Bird

About Forrest Bird

American engineer and aviator credited with creating the first viable mechanical ventilator, the Bird Universal Medical Respirator, for seriously ill patients. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1995.

Before Fame

He served as a pilot in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.


His ventilator for infants, nicknamed the Babybird, had a hand in decreasing the mortality rate in breathing-challenged infants from 70% to 10%.

Family Life

His wife Pamela was the co-founder of the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center.


He received the Presidential Citizens Medal from U.S. President George W. Bush in December 2008.

Information related to Forrest Bird

  • Oxygen mask - An oxygen mask provides a method to transfer breathing oxygen gas from a storage tank to the lungs. Oxygen masks may cover only the nose and mouth or the entire face. They may be made of plastic, silicone, or rubber.
  • Aviation medicine - Aviation medicine, also called flight medicine or aerospace medicine, is a preventive or occupational medicine in which the patients/subjects are pilots, aircrews, or astronauts.
  • Portable oxygen concentrator - A portable oxygen concentrator is a device used to provide oxygen therapy to people that require greater oxygen concentrations than the levels of ambient air. It is similar to a home oxygen concentrator, but is smaller in size and more mobile.
  • Northrop University alumni
  • Presidential Citizens Medal recipients
  • Physicians from Massachusetts
  • National Medal of Technology recipients
  • United States Army Air Forces pilots of World War II
  • United States Army Air Forces officers
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Latest information about Forrest Bird updated on January 25, 2021.

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