Thomas E. Burnett, Jr.

Thomas E. Burnett, Jr.
Thomas  E. Burnett, Jr.

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Age: 38
Hometown: Bloomington, Minnesota
Occupation: Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Thoratec Corporation
Reason for travel: Business

Thomas E. Burnett, Jr. had spent most of the past six weeks traveling in his role as Chief Operating Officer of Thoratec, a manufacturer of heart pumps for patients awaiting transplants. The Minnesota native was a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Pepperdine University. Burnett is remembered as bright, driven, principled, and competitive. On September 11, Burnett was returning home to his wife and three daughters in San Ramon, California. Burnett’s phone calls to his wife from onboard hijacked Flight 93 provided vital information to the passengers and crew and revealed the plans they were making to take back the plane. Burnett’s wife recalls him saying, “We have to do something. We can’t wait for the authorities . . . It’s up to us. I think we can do it.”

Last updated: January 9, 2021

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