Cornell alum Dr. Henry Heimlich, whose maneuver saved choking victims, died today

Dr. Henry Heimlich, the Cornell alum who came up with the Heimlich Maneuver as a way of rescuing people with blocked airways, died early Saturday, according to his family.

Dr. Henry Heimlich. Photo courtesy of Cornell.

Dr. Henry Heimlich. Photo courtesy of Cornell.

This May, Dr. Heimlich had occasion to use his eponymous technique for the first time to save a woman who was choking at dinner at his assisted-living community in Cincinnati.

“I knew about all the lives my maneuver has saved over the years and I have demonstrated it so many times but here, for the first time, was someone sitting right next to me who was about to die,” he said after the incident in Ohio. “I did it, and a piece of food with some bone in it flew out of her mouth.”

According to his family, Dr. Heimlich died this morning at a Cincinnati hospital after suffering a heart attack on Monday.

The 96-year-old visited his alma mater this June for his 75th Reunion Weekend. He had been Cornell’s marching band drum major in 1939, and conducted the Big Red Band in Bailey Hall after the State of the University address.

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