How Paul Wilbur Klipsch became rich with audio equipment

On March 9 in the year 1904, one of the successful inventor-entrepreneurs was born in Indiana, USA. His name was Paul Wilbur Klipsch, the founder of Klipsch Audio Technologies.

Paul Wilbur Klipsch
Paul Wilbur Klipsch (Photo Credit:

Paul Klipsch was the son of a professor in mechanical engineering. As a teenager, he invented a radio receiver. In 1926, he obtained a degree in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University and five years later, he finished a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

After his college graduation, Paul joined General Electric. Then, he moved to Chile to supervise a locomotive project for three years. While working in an oil exploration company, he started experimenting on what would become his lifetime career: the design of superior audio speakers. By the end of World War II, he produced his first low-frequency corner speaker which he called Klipschorn. He received a patent for it.

In 1946, Paul founded Klipsch and Associates but was later renamed Klipsch Audio Technologies. Initially he did all the works himself, hiring his first employee only in 1948. In the next decades, he was awarded more than 20 patents, not just in acoustics but also in ballistics and electrical prospecting as well. Considered as an eccentric man, he named his speakers not just klipschorn but added Heresy (for speakers used in churches), Rebel, Shorthorn, Cornwall, La Scala, and Belle.

Paul died in 2002 at the age of 98. His Klipschorn speaker is reportedly the only one in the world that has been in continuous production, relatively unchanged, for over 70 years and is considered unrivaled in sound reproduction for the home. In 2011, the company was sold to Audiovox Company.


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