The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Martine Rothblatt

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Martine Rothblatt until we are able to commission a full entry.

Martine Rothblatt accepting an award at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C., on September 23, 2010.

Courtesy of the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance/Wikimedia Commons.

CEO Martine Rothblatt’s fascination with interconnectivity led her to found both GeoStar and Sirius Radio, but it was her drive to save her daughter’s life that led her to create biotech company United Therapeutics Corporation. After an early, profound experience at a NASA tracking station in the Indian Ocean, Rothblatt studied communications and law at UCLA and astronomy at the University of Maryland, focusing on satellite technology. Originally hired in 1982 as a lawyer to manage regulations over a satellite navigation system created by Gerard K. O’Neill, she launched the revolutionary GPS company GeoStar as CEO in 1986. In 1990 she created Sirius Satellite Radio. That year, her youngest daughter, Jenesis, was diagnosed with a fatal heart condition, primary pulmonary hypertension. Rothblatt researched the disease and founded United Therapeutics to create life-saving drugs for the condition, as well as other life-extending therapies. Always at the cusp of new technology, in 1992 she led the International Bar Association’s efforts to draft the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights. In 1994 she underwent male-to-female sex reassignment surgery and legally changed her name. She has been a vocal advocate for transgender acceptance.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Martine Rothblatt." (Viewed on December 7, 2022) <>.


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