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Starkey Genesis - August 2023

30 Years Later, Ronald Reagan's Hearing Aid Fitting Still Reverberates Around the World


Starkey Hearing Technologies and World Leaders Move the Hearing Industry Forward.

September 27, 2013 – MINNEAPOLIS - (BUSINESS WIRE)--Thirty years ago this September, President Ronald Reagan made headlines when he appeared in public wearing a Starkey INTRA hearing aid. As a powerful influencer and one of the first public figures to be fitted with a hearing aid, President Reagan increased the acceptance of hearing devices, and marked a monumental turning point in the hearing industry and for Starkey Hearing Technologies, which doubled in size overnight and again two weeks after President Reagan’s fitting.

“Our ability to dream big and disrupt the status quo ensures that by working together, every woman, man and child has the opportunity to live a healthy life.”

As an advocate for those with hearing loss, President Reagan sparked a movement focused on creating better hearing technology, reducing the stigma of wearing hearing devices and increasing accessibility to hearing aids. President Reagan’s monumental fitting in 1983 also helped pave the way for today’s world leaders by bringing hearing aids into the public eye. That focus allowed manufacturers like Starkey Hearing Technologies to drive hearing innovations and technology for the past 30 years.

New Leaders Take Interest in Hearing Loss

In August 2013, President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton joined Starkey Hearing Foundation’s team of hearing professionals on a trip to Africa to give customized hearing devices to nearly 400 people in Zambia and Rwanda. The foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of Starkey Hearing Technologies, has pledged to fit and give more than 100,000 hearing aids annually to people in need as part of President Clinton’s Global Initiative.

The Clintons are not the only world leaders showing support for those with hearing loss. In July 2013, President George W. Bush worked with Starkey Hearing Foundation’s team of professionals to give customized hearing devices to more than 200 people in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In addition, his daughter, Barbara Bush, CEO and cofounder of Global Health Corps, attended a mission in Kasese, Uganda, last spring with a Global Health Corps team.

“Collaboration is so important for overcome health inequity around the world,” said Barbara Bush. “Our ability to dream big and disrupt the status quo ensures that by working together, every woman, man and child has the opportunity to live a healthy life.”

30 Years of Hearing Aid Advancements

Along with its philanthropic work through Starkey Hearing Foundation, Starkey Hearing Technologies continues to lead hearing aid advancement, developing virtually feedback-free hearing aids in 2006 and the world’s first custom, digital, invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids in 2010. The company is continually working toward the next breakthrough innovation, whether that’s wireless hearing aids that let people listen to TV and radio as never before or offering the industry’s widest range of invisible hearing aid options.

“The best technology available won’t help anyone if it doesn’t meet the needs of a discrete consumer,” said Jerry Ruzicka, President of Starkey Hearing Technologies. “We are always striving to remove hearing aid stigma by answering consumer demands for more discreet and attractive hearing aids that utilize state-of-the-art processing. We are setting new standards for the industry.”

With such extensive support for and momentum within the hearing industry, the next 30 years are sure to continue to bring life-changing innovations and technology that reflect the times and needs of those around the world.

To learn more about the history and advancements of hearing aid technology, visit

About Starkey® Hearing Technologies

Starkey Hearing Technologies is a privately held, global hearing technology company headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minn. The company is recognized for its innovative design, development and distribution of comprehensive digital hearing systems. Founded in 1967, Starkey Hearing Technologies currently employs more than 3,500 people, operates 21 facilities and conducts business in more than 100 markets worldwide. The company develops, manufactures and distributes hearing aids via four distinct brands – Audibel®, NuEar™, MicroTech™ and its original brand, Starkey. For more information, visit or the Starkey Expo Page on AudiologyOnline.

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