Paul Wilbur Klipsch bigraphy, stories - Inventors

Paul Wilbur Klipsch : biography

March 9, 1904 - May 5, 2002

Paul Wilbur Klipsch (March 9, 1904 – May 5, 2002) was an American engineer and high fidelity audio pioneer, known for developing a high-efficiency folded horn loudspeaker. Unsatisfied with the sound quality of phonographs and early speaker systems, Klipsch used scientific principles to develop a corner horn speaker that sounded more lifelike than its predecessors.

The Klipschorn, which today is still manufactured and sold worldwide, proved popular. The resulting acoustics career of Klipsch spanned from 1946, when he founded one of the first U.S. loudspeaker companies, to 2000 when the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society published one of his papers. He died on May 5, 2002 at the age of 98.

Fred Klipsch, current Klipsch owner and chairman and cousin to founder Paul Wilbur Klipsch, said, “Paul was a verifiable genius who could have chosen any number of vocations, but the world sounds a lot better because he chose audio.”


In 1978, Paul W. Klipsch was awarded the Audio Engineering Society's second highest honor, the Silver Medal, for his contributions to speaker design and distortion measurement. In 1997, he was inducted into the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame. In 2004, at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), he was inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame.

Klipsch received a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University in 1926, an EE (Engineer's degree) in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1934, and a Doctor of Laws from New Mexico State University (NMSU) in 1981. The NMSU engineering department was renamed the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1995, in honor of Paul W. Klipsch.


Small dimension low frequency folded exponential [[horn loudspeaker with unitary sound path and loudspeaker system including same. US patent 4138594. (1979)]]

  • Stock-and-barrel assembly for firearms. US patent 2205982. Klipsch, P.W., 6/25/1940.
  • Wave synthesizing network. US patent 2230803. Klipsch, P.W., 2/4/1941.
  • Electrical prospecting with alternating current. US patent 2231013. Klipsch, P.W., 2/11/1941.
  • Recording seismic waves. US patent 2232612. Klipsch, P.W., 2/18/1941.
  • Seismic prospecting. US patent 2232613. Klipsch, P.W., 2/18/1941.
  • Equalizer. US patent 2238023. Klipsch, P.W., 4/8/1941.
  • Electrical prospecting. US patent 2243428. Klipsch, P.W., 4/27/1941.
  • Mixing circuit for electrical prospecting. US patent 2251549. Klipsch, P.W., 8/5/1941.
  • Method of electrical prospecting. US patent 2293024. Klipsch, P.W., 8/11/1942.
  • Firearm vibration control. US patent 2302699. Klipsch, P.W., 11/14/1942.
  • Horn for loud-speaker. US patent 2310243. Klipsch, P.W., 2/9/1943.
  • Loudspeaker. US patent 2373692. Klipsch, P.W., 4/17/1945.
  • Rotating band tester. US patent 2450003. Klipsch, P.W., 9/28/1948.
  • Loud-speaker horn. US patent 2537141. Klipsch, P.W., 1/9/1951.
  • Crossover filter network. US patent 2612558. Klipsch, P.W., 9/30/1952.
  • Loudspeaker (Rebel). US patent 2731101. Klipsch, P.W., 9/30/1952.
  • Logarithmic converter circuit. US patent 3330966. Klipsch, P.W., 7/11/1967.
  • Small dimension low frequency folded exponential horn loudspeaker with unitary sound path and loudspeaker system including same. US patent 4138594. Klipsch, P.W., 2/6/1979.
  • Low frequency folded exponential horn loudspeaker apparatus with bifurcated sound path. US patent 4210223. Gillum, G. C./ Klipsch, P.W., 7/1/1980.
  • Crossover network for optimizing efficiency and improving response of loudspeaker system. US patent 4237340. Klipsch, P.W., 12/2/1980.
  • Anechoic chamber arrangement. US patent 4387786. Klipsch, P.W/Hunter, J. R., 6/14/1983.

Education and career

Klipsch's interest in engineering was influenced by his father, an instructor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Although he was only 12 when his father died, Klipsch's interest in science and engineering endured. He built his first speaker using a mailing tube and a pair of earphones at the age of 15, which was a year before the first public radio broadcast.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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