Gary Burrell

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Gary Burrell
Born1937 (age 81–82)
Alma materWichita State University (B.S., Electrical Engineering)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (M.S.)
Occupationelectrical engineer and entrepreneur
Known forco-founder of the Garmin GPS company

Gary Burrell (born 1937) is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and chairman emeritus of Garmin, makers of popular Global Positioning System devices.

Early life[edit]

Gary Burrell was born in 1937. He earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from Wichita State University and a master's degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.[1][2]


Burrell worked for Lowrance Electronics and King Radio Corporation.[2] In the early 1980s, he worked for Allied Signal.[1]

Along with partner Min Kao, Burrell founded Garmin in 1989 to make navigation devices for aviation and boating using the Global Positioning System.[1] Their original office was two folding chairs and a card table. Some U.S. servicemen used Garmin GPS during the first Gulf War, more precisely, the US war with Iraq, even though Garmin never had a military contract. Later on, the technology was expanded for the U.S. market, providing directions across all United States roads and highways.


Burrell is a significant donor to the Indian Creek Community Church in Olathe, Kansas.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Burrell is married, and he has three children.[1] He resides in Spring Hill, Kansas.[1] As of 2016, Burrell is a former billionaire.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "The World's Billionaires: Gary Burrell". Forbes. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Leadership: Gary Burrell". Garmin. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  3. ^ "Olathe church looks like locus of Burrell gifts". Kansas City Business Journal. April 4, 2004. Retrieved March 10, 2017.