Forbes - - Contents -

Bos­ton Scientifc’s John Abele stands atop the Green Moun­tains. Plus: Pat Han­ra­han, data-viz bil­lion­aire.



Gross state Prod­uct:

$27.2 bil­lion

(0.6% Growth year-on-year) GSP Per capita:


(ranks no. 32 na­tion­wide) rich­est:


$600 mil­lion

HEART SURGERY is no one’s idea of fun, but the fact that it’s much less in­va­sive (and safer) than it used to be is due in large part to John Abele. In 1978, seek­ing in­vestors for Medi-tech, a catheter com­pany in which he held an eq­uity stake, he met busi­ness­man Pete Ni­cholas. The two agreed to cre­ate a hold­ing com­pany that would buy Medi-tech, and in 1979 Bos­ton Scientifc was born.

The com­pany spear­headed the man­u­fac­ture of artery-open­ing stents, catheters and an­gio­plasty bal­loons. It went public in 1992, and within three years Abele had be­come a bil­lion­aire. (Raised in Con­necti­cut, he now lives in Shel­burne, Vt.)

He soon be­gan giv­ing money away. In 1997 he founded the Ar­gosy Foun­da­tion, through which his fam­ily (he and his wife, Mary, have three chil­dren) has do­nated over $100 mil­lion to hun­dreds of non-profts, in­clud­ing the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety, Ver­mont Food­bank and FIRST, which or­ga­nizes ro­bot­ics com­pe­ti­tions for kids. Although he hasn’t signed the Giv­ing Pledge, Abele, now 78, says his goal is to end up with a net worth of $0.

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