Class of 1926, 1981
Paul Wilbur Klipsch was born to Oscar W. and Minna “Eddy” Klipsch on March 9, 1904 in Elkhart, Ind. Best known for his contributions in revolutionizing the world of audio, Paul became absorbed in the world of sound, electronics and radio from a very young age. He built his own radio receiver a year before the first public radio broadcast.
It was when he went off to the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now NMSU) that he developed a deeper love for, and knowledge of, music, musicians and musical instruments. He was a member of the championship ROTC rifle team, as well as a charter member of the Mu Phi Pu honorary engineering fraternity. Paul Klipsch graduated in 1926 from NMSU with a degree in electrical engineering.
After graduation, Paul found himself in the radio field, employed by General Electric. But that soon changed. From 1928-1931, he worked with trains, a passion that took him to Tocopilla, Chile. It was there that he supervised the maintenance of seven electric locomotives, but his interest and experimentation in radios never waned.
In 1931, upon returning to the United States, he entered Stanford University and graduated with a master’s degree in electrical engineering. Meanwhile, he continued his research in audio frequency/efficiency. From 1931-1941, Paul was employed in oil exploration in Houston, Texas. The research on his audio speaker design continued from his home, and he soon submitted his first patent for a horn design-an application that initially wasn’t accepted.
Paul Klipsch decided to commit his life to building loudspeakers. The name Klipsch and Associates was registered in 1946, although his first employee wasn’t hired until 1948. Paul soon had three patents in ballistics, eight in geophysics and twelve in acoustics.
His Heritage Line of speakers, including the Klipschorn, La Scala, Belle, Cornwall and Heresy, are known worldwide for their quality and accuracy and have set the standard in the industry for more than 60 years.
In 1966, Paul Klipsch was awarded the NMSU Alumni Award. He received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from NMSU in 1981. From 1993 to 1995, NMSU dedicated the Paul W. Klipsch Lecture Hall, the Paul W. Klipsch Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Klipsch School of Electrical Engineering, all in his honor.