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Ivan Yaeger

Inventor and nonprofit executive Ivan Yaeger was born on June 7, 1967 in Miami, Florida to Elliott Yaegar, Jr. and Ollie Yaegar. He attended Miami Shores Elementary School and North Miami Junior High School before he graduated from Miami Central Senior High School in 1984. Yaeger went on to earn his B.B.A. degree in business management and organization from the University of Miami in 1988.

While at the University of Miami, Yaeger filed his first patent for the Yaeger Prosthetic Arm, a prosthetic arm controlled through activating sensors on the human body. He also began the Yaeger Innovative Products Corporation in 1996 and became its chief executive officer. In 1991, Yaeger began working as a pupil advocate for AESOP, a mentoring program for minorities within Miami Dade Public Schools. Yaeger then founded the Yaeger Foundation, Inc. in 1995 which in 1997 started the Technology Leaders Initiative, a workshop program for students of all ages. During the same year, Yaegar became the corporate relations manager for INROADS, Inc. In 2000, Yaeger founded Yaeger Companies, which combined all of his previous endeavors under the name of one company. He gained national attention when he created prosthetic arms for an eleven-year-old named Diamond Excell, who was born without arms. Yaeger filed another patent in 2006, for a mechanical hand kit that was used in the Technology Leaders Initiative.

In addition to his work with the Yaeger Foundation, Yaeger also served his community through service on a variety of boards that included the Wellness Committee for Miami Dade Public Schools and the Miami Children’s Initiative.

Ivan and The Yaeger Arm have appeared in over one hundred broadcasts and publications such as The Today Show, National Medical Association Journal, M.I.T Inventor of the Week Archive, The Johns Hopkins Newsletter, Jet magazine, People magazine and the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s website and Minority Inventors: America’s Tapestry of Innovation video.

Yaeger has been recognized and honored for his innovations and community involvement many times. In 1992, he received the Father Surrogate of the Year Award from the Urban League. In 2002, the U.S. Patent Office named him as a distinguished innovator. He was also the recipient of the ICON Award in 2006 and the Distinguished Achievement Award in 2011. Yaeger was inducted into the Miami Dade Public Schools Hall of Fame in 2017.

Ivan Yaeger was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 10, 2017.

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Miami Shores Elementary School

North Miami Middle School

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School

Miami Central Senior High School

University of Miami

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Favorite Vacation Destination

Palm Beach, Florida

Favorite Quote

If Your Mind Can Conceive It And Your Heart Believe It Then You Can Achieve It.

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Short Description

Inventor and nonprofit executive Ivan Yaeger (1967 - ) invented the Yaeger Prosthetic Arm, and served as founder and CEO of Yaeger Companies and the Yaeger Foundation.


Y.I.P. Corporation

Miami Dade Public Schools

The Yaeger Foundation, Inc.

INROADS S. Florida, Inc.

The Yaeger Companies

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Timing Pairs

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ivan Yaeger's interview</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ivan Yaeger lists his favorites</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ivan Yaeger describes his mother's family background</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ivan Yaeger describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ivan Yaeger talks about how his parents met</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ivan Yaeger describes his likeness to his father</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ivan Yaeger lists his siblings</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ivan Yaeger describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ivan Yaeger describes the sounds and smells of his childhood</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ivan Yaeger talks about his early awareness of race</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ivan Yaeger recalls his early interest in engineering</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ivan Yaeger remembers moving to Miami Shores, Florida</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ivan Yaeger describes his early academic interests</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Ivan Yaeger remembers learning about science from his father</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Ivan Yaeger recalls the start of his interest in prosthetics</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Ivan Yaeger remembers his favorite children's television shows</a>

<a href="">Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Ivan Yaeger recalls building his first prosthetic device</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ivan Yaeger describes his first prosthetic arm invention</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ivan Yaeger recalls his activities at Miami Central Senior High School in Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ivan Yaeger remembers graduating from Miami Central Senior High School</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ivan Yaeger remembers securing his first patent for a prosthetic device</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ivan Yaeger remembers founding the Yaeger Innovative Products Corporations</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ivan Yaeger describes his education at the University of Miami</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ivan Yaeger recalls his early success with the Yaeger Innovative Products Corporation</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ivan Yaeger describes the Afrocentric Enhancement, Self-Esteem Opportunity Program</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ivan Yaeger talks about The Yaeger Foundation</a>

<a href="">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ivan Yaeger remembers working for INROADS, Inc.</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ivan Yaeger remembers his mentees at INROADS, Inc.</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ivan Yaeger describes his inventing process</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ivan Yaeger remembers creating the Technology Leaders Initiative</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ivan Yaeger talks about his corporate and academic partners</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ivan Yaeger recalls founding The Yaeger Companies</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ivan Yaeger remembers the Y2K scare</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ivan Yaeger remembers creating prosthetic arms for Diamond Excell</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ivan Yaeger describes the advancements in prosthetic technology</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ivan Yaeger remembers the celebration for Diamond Excell's prosthetic arms</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ivan Yaeger describes his Bionic/Robotic Hand Kit competition</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Ivan Yaeger talks about building Yeager Plaza in Miami, Florida</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Ivan Yaeger describes his medical partnerships</a>

<a href="">Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Ivan Yaeger describes his plans for the future</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ivan Yaeger talks about the future of prosthetic technology</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ivan Yaeger describes his family's role in The Yaeger Companies</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ivan Yaeger reflects upon his life</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ivan Yaeger describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ivan Yaeger describes about his family</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ivan Yaeger talks about the importance of defying stereotypes</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ivan Yaeger describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ivan Yaeger narrates his photographs, pt. 1</a>

<a href="">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ivan Yaeger narrates his photographs, pt. 2</a>







Ivan Yaeger recalls building his first prosthetic device
Ivan Yaeger remembers the celebration for Diamond Excell's prosthetic arms
Here you are, you're eleven years old when you decide that you're going to build a prosthetic arm. Now, how--so what was your--was your plan to make an arm that actually moved--$$Yes.$$--on its own?$$Absolutely.$$Okay.$$And, and I had so many remote control cars and other electronic toys and things that I figured I could take parts out of. So, I thought I was, you know, pretty well set to start experimenting and make this arm actually have articulated joints and operate electrically.$$Okay. So, what did you come up with? What, what was it like?$$This was an arm that had an electric elbow and hand, powered by batteries. And it had the grasping motion and the elbow flexion. And so, it was the basic movements of the, of the human arm, built with a lot of erector set parts, remote control car parts, and some things that were taken out of household appliances, and things that are around the house that I could get my hands on.$$All right. Did you have to replace those things at some point?$$There was that time of them coming over and finding out that something was taken apart. It was actually working before they left the room. So, I had, I had some moments of being in trouble, but after a while, they said, "We'll make a deal. We'll give you all the things that have broken. When they break, we'll give them to you, and you get some tools and you can, you can experiment." So, I, I was fortunate to end up with a box full of parts after a while that I was able to play around with.$$Okay.$Okay. Well, tell us about the, Diamond [Diamond Excell], you know, what, what actually happened and how did it really change her, her pro- prospects?$$It, it, to kind of--to give a little background of what happened to--when she received her arms, one of the things that she said when I asked her, "Well, what's the first thing you're going to do when you get your arms?" She said, "I'm going to hug my mom [Dalia Excell] for the first time with my own arms." And that was something that really drove us and inspired us, so we had a big celebration. It was her birthday, and the arms were her birthday present. She was going to go to seventh grade the following year. And so, reporters from around the world were there to watch this moment of what was considered impossible become possible. And over a hundred news outlets covered it. And whether she walked out and went to the, front of the, the room to the stage, and hugged her mom with her arms the first time. And so, that was an exciting moment. It was inspiration for both of us who worked on the project. It was seeing her face when that dream became reality. And, and for her to have a chance to know what it would be like to have upper limbs, which is something that we all take for granted.