Picture of Doug Hougen

InventorEd, Inc. Presents:
E. Douglas Hougen

7-16-1916 to 2-17-1999
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Tribute

I liked and respected Doug Hougen, not only for his prolific inventiveness, but for his outlook on life.  He was kind and helpful towards people from all walks of life.  He was civic minded.  

Doug started inventing during a four decade dark age, at a time when the only way an inventor could prosper was to launch a company and establish one's self before the big guys noticed you.  There are relatively few people who have the skills and tenacity to build a company from scratch.  An even smaller percentage of people have the skills to be inventors.  There is a much smaller number of people who have the skills to do both.  Doug was one of those.  

In spite of Doug's success he was one of the most down to earth people I have known.  Part of the reason for his good character may be the hardships associated with bootstrapping a business from scratch.  Part of such character may have come from seeing corporate bullies steal his inventions with impunity.  Part of such character may be from discovering he could always be one step ahead of disreputable companies by out inventing them.

Doug Hougen stood as a great among greats in the inventor community.  In fact, Doug Hougen's peers, other professional inventors, have been encouraging his former alma mater, Kettering University (formerly GMI), to nominate Doug for inclusion in the National Inventors Hall of Fame for several years.

Such inventive sprit is what makes America great.  People like Doug Hougen are the backbone of our country.  Big companies have a high public profile but they have no community loyalty.  They suck profits out of a community while entrepreneurs like Doug Hougen are the glue that binds communities together.  

And we saw the same good sense he displayed in life in the end.  After fighting poor health for many years, Doug recognized when it was time to accept the inevitable and went home to die with his family.   

He had the kind of funeral I would chose.  More a celebration of a good and productive life than a mourning of his death.  A service which was followed by a gathering of his family, friends, and colleagues at the Hougen plant. 

That is not to say that many people are not sad to see him pass, because they and I are sad.  The world has lost a good man, but his spirit lives on through his inventions, the company he built, and his community sprit as exemplified by the Hougen family's creation of the Hougen Foundation.

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Read about why I, Ronald J Riley, created this index to Hougen related web sites.
How I Learned to become a successful inventor, history was the key

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