Dr Henry Heimlich, who invented the world-famous Heimlich maneuver to save people from choking, died Saturday at age 96, his family said.

The technique, which was first promoted in August 1974 by the Journal of the American Medical Association, is estimated to have saved the lives of more than 50,000 people, according to Heimlich’s 2014 autobiography.

“There’s been a lot of attention paid to the Heimlich maneuver because it’s so effective, but what I think makes it truly innovative is the fact that it’s accessible to everyone. Anyone can save the life of a choking person — even a child can perform the Heimlich maneuver.”

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