Henning Ruben

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 06 January 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:97

Anaesthetist who invented the Ruben valve and the Ambu self-inflating bag

By any standards, Henning Ruben was a remarkable man. During his career he was, at various times, a member of the Danish fencing team, a professional dancer, magician, thought reader, dentist, doctor, and inventor. To these might be added his reputation as a bon viveur and raconteur par excellence. It was, however, for his skill and originality as an inventor that he was best known.

He was born in Copenhagen in 1914, the eldest son of an orthodox Jewish family. At 19 he entered the Royal Dental College in Copenhagen, combining his studies with the exercise of his other talents. With a well known singer, he toured the halls as a professional dancer, excelling at the tango. He was also an accomplished athlete, becoming a member of the Danish fencing team that won a bronze medal at the world championships in Monte Carlo in 1939. He became a member of the Danish Magic Circle.

In 1943 he enrolled as a medical …

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