Gary Michelson, MD, is the wealthiest orthopedic and spine surgeon in the U.S. with a net worth of $1.8 billion, making him the 1,573th richest person in the world according to Forbes' live net-worth tracker.
Dr. Michelson, now retired, worked as a surgeon in a California private practice for 25 years. He holds 340 orthopedic patents in the U.S., and more than 900 patents worldwide.
He became a billionaire in 2005 when he reached a $1.35 billion settlement with Medtronic over patents litigation.
Some of his patents include spinal implants, interbody spinal fusion tools, spinal screws and surgical gloves.
Dr. Michelson received his training at Philadelphia-based Hahnemann Medical College.
He lives in California and continues to contribute to philanthropic efforts, including planting 3.5 million trees in Costa Rica and creating a foundation that pairs rescue pets with new homes.