A most amazing woman

One of the most amazing interviews I’ve ever heard on the Howard Stern show yesterday: Martine Rothblatt invented Sirius.

I suspect she was there, in part, to back the case for a Sirius-XM merger, explaining that it was the government that split the frequencies for satellite broadcast in two to put two companies in business, but this also hampered the technology. Joining the frequencies back together, she said, would enable the company to smoothly stream video from space.

But Rothblatt’s own story was more amazing than her invention. She created more satellite companies: the first vehicle tracking system (Geostar), the first broadcast satellite system (PanAmSat), the first satellite radio (Sirius). She is an attorney, inventor, and engineer.

She was a he. Rothblatt changed genders about 12 years ago. She is still married to her wife; they have grown children.

But here’s what’s most amazing: He started a biotech company to find a cure for a potentially fatal lung condition his younger daughter suffered — and he found it. Now she’s working on nanobots that will be injected into the body to fix hearts or kill tumors, controlled by radio signals from outside. He sees this as the full extension of his satellite work.

It was a mesmerizing interview.