Whitaker was an extraordinary man, earning a mechanical engineering degree from MIT, an electrical engineering degree from Carnegie Institute of Technology, and a law degree from Cleveland Law School. He founded Aircraft-Marine Products, which was grounded by the following principle: "Discover what the customer needs and supply it." Within 10 years, it was offering thousands of custom connection devices and soon became the world’s largest manufacturer of electrical devices. Upon his death in 1975, his will granted $120 million to the development of Biomedical Engineering research. This took the form of the Whitaker Foundation, which by 1994, had grown in worth to $340 million. Although the foundation has since disassembled, the money dispersed to Georgia Tech and other institutions across the country is still enabling biomedical education today.
- Besides building his own company, he also took care of the employees by creating a philanthropic program to improve the quality of life in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
- 30 biomedical engineering programs at various universities in the United States and helped finance the construction of 13 buildings.