William F. House

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William Fouts House (December 1, 1923 – December 7, 2012) was an American otologist, physician and medical researcher who developed and invented the cochlear implant.[1][2] The cochlear implant is considered to be the first invention to restore not just the sense of hearing, but any of the absent five senses in humans.[1]

House was born on December 1, 1923, in Kansas City, Missouri, and moved to Whittier, California, when he was three years old.[1] House completed pre-dental degrees at Whittier College and the University of Southern California.[1] He then enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a doctorate in dentistry.[1] House next earned a medical degree from the University of Southern California after two years in the U.S. Navy.[1] His older half brother, Howard P. House, was also a physician and was focused on otology, founding the House Ear Institute (later renamed the House Research Institute) in 1946. William House eventually adopted the same focus.[2]

House's first design for a cochlear implant was surgically implanted in 1961, but the implant was rejected by the patient's body. A longer lasting model was developed and successfully implanted in 1969.[1]

William House died on December 7, 2012, at his home in Aurora, Oregon, at the age of 89.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Martin, Douglas (December 15, 2012). "Dr. William F. House, Inventor of Pioneering Ear-Implant Device, Dies at 89". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  2. ^ a b c Woo, Elaine (December 12, 2012). "Dr. William F. House dies at 89; championed cochlear implant". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  3. ^ "Dr. William House, who invented the cochlear implant, dies in Oregon". The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon). December 15, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 

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