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Who Was Bill McLaughlin?

   

William McLaughlin
William McLaughlin
William Francis McLaughlin was a man's man. A retired Marine, he was a gun collector with an arsenal of weapons at his homes in Las Vegas and Newport Beach. He had a pilot's license so he could fly his own plane, drove fancy cars and was a fitness buff who jogged daily.

He was also extremely bright, with the mind of a scientist. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a degree in biological engineering, McLaughlin entered the medical field as a sales associate for a dialysis products company and then for a heart valve company, the Los Angeles Times reported.

An entrepreneur, McLaughlin started his own company and invented a new type of dialysis catheter. He sold the business and then took on several partners for a new venture that would later net him millions.

The partners invented "Plasma Cell-C," a product that separated plasma from blood and then returned the blood to the donor. The invention was the flagship product of McLaughlin's company, HemaScience Laboratories, which was started in a garage. It would be sold for tens of millions of dollars in 1986 and is now the standard in healthcare.

Depending on whom one asked, McLaughlin could be either the most charming man on earth or a "mean son of a gun" who was cold to employees, the Times reported. Apparently his wife of 24 years agreed, filing for divorce in 1990 and stating that he was "very controlling and domineering," according to the Times. Court files stated that he was making $100,000 a month and settled with his wife for $4.5 million and a home in Hawaii.

Four years later he would be dead.

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