There are many things, people, and organizations that can bring out inspiration. Sometimes an inspirational person can bring more attention to a cause or vice versa. Sometimes a story can be inspirational. A person that achieves success despite a disability, can inspire people to achieve.
Ralph Braun was the founder and CEO of the Braun Corporation. He was known for making assistive devices for the mobility industry. Ralph Braun was born in Winamac, Indiana. Being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when he was six years old led to him using a wheelchair by the time he was fourteen years old. He then invented other assistive devices.
Ralph first made a motorized wagon to get around and five years later he invented the Tri-Wheeler, a motorized scooter. He worked as a Quality Control Manager at a local manufacturer and used his Tri-Wheeler to get there and around. When the company moved, Ralph needed better transportation. He chose to adapt an old mail truck with hand controls and a hydraulic lift. In 1963, he started “Save-A-Step” manufacturing.
In 1970, Dodge came out with a front-end motor van. Ralph added a wheelchair platform lift. In 1972, “Save-A-Step” became the Braun Corporation. In 1991, the Entervan, a wheelchair accessible minivan, was introduced. Company growth continued and new products continued to be manufactured.
In 2012, he was awarded a “Champion of Change” by President Obama. He was also honored with Support of the Guard, the Reserves Patriot Award, and a bronze plaque from the Adaptive Driving Alliance.
Ralph Braun was an active and involved community member. He passed away in 2013. He was survived by his wife, five children, grandchildren, and step-grandchildren.
Be inspired! Have a bright day!