Michael John Cudahy (born March 24, 1924) is an entrepreneur, business executive and philanthropist.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1924, Cudahy is the son of John Cudahy, United States ambassador to Ireland, Poland and Belgium. His grandfather is Patrick Cudahy, founder of the Patrick Cudahy meat company.
On Thursday, August 2, 2007, WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee reported that Michael Cudahy was one of several private investors considering purchasing Midwest Airlines.
Along with Warren Cozzens, he founded Marquette Electronics in 1965 and served as chairman and CEO. The company went public in 1991. After starting with only $15,000 in capital, the company went on to have over $350 million annually in sales.
His company put together the nation's first central electrocardiographic system at Northwestern University Medical School. This machine has since become standard in hospitals throughout the United States. The company was also noted for having one of the first on-site day care centers in the nation.
In 1982, he and Warren bought the failing Patient Monitoring Business Unit from GE (then known as General Electric Medical Systems Division) and combined it with the existing business (primarily diagnostic equipment).
In 1998, he sold Marquette Electronics (by then known as Marquette Medical Systems) to GE. The company exists today as part of the Clinical Systems division of GE Healthcare, a subsidiary of the American conglomerate. After stepping aside at his company, Cudahy focused his energies on philanthropy and serving on the boards of other companies.
In 1999, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, he invested $10 million in TomoTherapy a Madison, Wisconsin bio-technology start-up. It went public on May 9, 2007 with the stock symbol TOMO. Mr Cudahy's 10% interest is valued at more than $100 million at present prices (September 2007).
In 2002 he told the story of the founding of Marquette Electronics in the book Joyworks (ISBN 0-938076-17-5).
The following institutions have been the recipients of gifts by Michael J. Cudahy:Boys and Girls Club
John C. Cudahy YMCA
Michael J. Cudahy Foundation – Foundation through which Cudahy does most of his philanthropy. Not to be confused with the Patrick & Anna M. Cudahy foundation, set up by his uncle, Michael F. Cudahy.
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Johns Hopkins University – sponsors the Michael Cudahy professorship
Milwaukee Art Museum
Milwaukee Public Museum
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Pabst Theater – Cudahy bought the beleaguered landmark theatre in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin for $1, keeping it open and afloat. He had previously donated over $9 million to the theatre.
Riverside Theater – Cudahy signed a lease to run entertainment programs in the historic Riverside Theater in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Pier Wisconsin – Cudahy is spearheading this ambitious project for Milwaukee's lakefront, which some argue would steal the limelight from the nearby Milwaukee Art Museum (also a recipient of Cudahy's funds).
United Community Center
American Heart Association – Supporter of the Milwaukee Heart Ball