James Sorenson Biography

Died: January 20, 2008 (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Best Known as: Utah's wealthiest man who overcame a learning disability

James Sorenson was Utah's wealthiest man, who built his fortune in medical devices and real estate. Although Forbes Magazine ranked him with $4.5 billion in 2007, he was known not to flaunt it. Sorenson was a philanthropist, donating millions to medical facilities and other causes. He was born in Idaho during the Great Depression with dyslexia, but overcame his learning disability. While Sorenson was in pharmaceutical sales he noticed problems and invented solutions such as the disposable surgical mask, the first computerized real-time heart-monitoring system, and an automated intravenous-drug pump. Later in his career, Sorenson established Sorenson Genomics, which assisted in DNA identification after the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in December 2004.