There aren't many people who can claim that they've saved millions of lives in their careers. William P. Murphy Jr., who died at the age of 100 on Nov. 30, was one of them.
The biomedical researcher created the vinyl blood bag in the 1950s, replacing fragile glass bottles, and improving storage and transportation that advanced medical care on battlefields, disaster zones and remote locations.
During development and testing, Murphy went to front lines of the Korean War. Once there, he took note of how medical instruments were often not fully sterilized before being reused, increasing risks of infection, The Washington Post noted in his obituary. Once back in his lab, he developed a single-use kit of sterilized medical equipment and drugs.
During his engineering studies — after becoming a doctor — he developed a projector to display enlarged X-ray images.
In the 1980s, he created Cordis Corp., a medical research company that improved the pacemaker.
Oh, and as a teenager living in Massachusetts, he created a gasoline-powered snowblower.
Murphy had some pretty solid role models. His father, William Murphy Sr., was part of a team that won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1934. His mother, Harriet, also no slouch, was the first licensed female dentist in Massachusetts.
Murphy continued to influence new medical technology well into his 90s, serving as chairman of Florida-based biotechnology firm U.S. Stem Cell until 2022.