Amar Bose dies at 83; founded audio technology company

Amar Bose dies at 83; founded audio technology company
In this 2005 photograph, acoustics pioneer Amar Bose, chairman of Bose Corp., pauses during an interview with the Associated Press in his office in Framingham, Mass., where he founded the company in 1964. (Chitose Suzuki / Associated Press)

Acoustics pioneer Amar Bose, founder and chairman of the audio technology company Bose Corp., known for the rich sound of its small tabletop radios and its noise-canceling headphones, has died. He was 83.

Bose died Friday, company spokeswoman Carolyn Cinotti confirmed. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Bose began his acoustics research and was on the faculty for more than 40 years, also announced his death but provided no other details.

Bose founded his company, based in Framingham, Mass., in 1964. The company's products include sleek Wave system radios with "lifelike, room-filling sound," home theater accessories, computer speakers and cushioned QuietComfort headphones for reducing background noise such as airplane engines.

Amar Gopal Bose was born Nov. 2, 1929, in Philadelphia. His father, who emigrated from India, ran an import business; his mother was a schoolteacher. His father's business suffered during World War II, and the teenage Amar launched a radio repair shop at the family's home.


He enrolled at MIT, where he received his bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctorate, all in electrical engineering.

Bose was asked to join the MIT faculty in 1956, and he accepted with the intention of teaching for no more than two years, the university said. He continued as a faculty member until 2001.

The university said Bose made his mark in research and in teaching.

Dissatisfied with the sound quality emitted by music speakers in the 1950s, Bose started a research program in physical acoustics and psychoacoustics. His work led to the development of patents in acoustics, electronics, nonlinear systems and communication theory.

Bose received many awards and honors during his lifetime. He was a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

In 2011, Bose gave MIT the majority of Bose Corp. stock in the form of non-voting shares whose dividends support education and research. MIT does not participate in management or governance of the company, which will remain privately held, according to its president, Bob Maresca.

Bose declared in a 1993 interview with the Sunday Times of London that he had no interest in material wealth.

"Company directors who pay themselves dividends get enjoyment out of the money, but I wouldn't have that," he said. "It's not that I'm a good person. I am just doing what I enjoy the most. I don't want a second house, I have one car, and that's enough. These things don't give me pleasure, but thinking about great little ideas gives me real pleasure."

Bose's survivors include his children from his first marriage that ended in divorce; son Vanu, an entrepreneur developing wireless communication technology; daughter Maya; and his second wife, Ursula.