Advances in cardiac surgery toward the mid-20th century created a need for an artificial means of stimulating the heart muscle. Initially developed as large external devices, technological advances resulted in miniaturization of electronic circuitry and eventually the development of totally implantable devices. These advances continue to date, with the recent introduction of leadless pacemakers. In this first part of a 2-part review, we describe indications, implant-related complications, basic function/programming, common pacemaker-related issues, and remote monitoring, which are relevant to the practicing cardiologist. We provide an overview of magnetic resonance imaging and perioperative management among patients with cardiac pacemakers. (J Am Coll Cardiol 2017;69:189–210) © 2017 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation.