Robert J. Briskey, a pioneer in audiology and among the first in his profession to work in the manufacturing sector, died on May 12 at age 87.
A native of Detroit, he received his MA from Wayne State University in 1947, and was a member of the faculty there until 1952, when he became director of an audiology clinic that had recently opened at Wisconsin State College in Milwaukee.
In 1962, he joined Zenith Radio Corp., a leading manufacturer of hearing aids at the time, as director of rehabilitation services and senior research audiologist. There he developed several hearing aids for which he received two U.S. patents.
In 1975, he became director of educational services at Beltone Electronics Corp., where he remained until his retirement from full-time work.
In retirement, he remained active as president of his own consulting firm, Listen USA, and honed his dispensing skills by working part-time at a hearing aid center near his home in Des Plaines, IL.
During his more than 50 years in the hearing industry, he published over 50 articles on hearing aid related topics, wrote several chapters for audiology texts, and gave more than 400 platform presentations in the field of hearing all over the world.
His commitment to raising the level of education in hearing care inspired Briskey, along with Harold Williams, EdD, to found the American Conference of Audioprosthology (ACA) in 1976. Its purpose was to meet the need for advanced training for hearing instrument specialists. The ACA program continues today under the aegis of the International Hearing Society.
Bob Briskey is survived by his wife of 27 years, Karen, who was formerly editor of Hearing Instruments. Other survivors include his daughter Beth Brickler, son Bradford Briskey, his stepson Colin Cranmer, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife, Virginia Levitan Briskey, and son Robert John Briskey.
In a post that appeared in September 2011 at Hearinghealthmatters.org, Bob Briskey reminisced about his early years in audiology.