Vans Co-Founder James Van Doren Dies

After the passing of Vans co-founder James Van Doren on Oct. 12, his nephew Steve Van Doren said his uncle’s values and attitude are still present at the company.

“Jim was inspiring,” said Steve Van Doren, who serves as VP of events and promotions at the company. “He would get people to overcome the hardest thing… and was amazing in the way he worked with people.”

James Van Doren founded the company with his brother Paul in 1966, and ran the company from 1976 to 1984. After a long illness, he died at his home in Fullerton, Calif. at the age of 72.

And beyond the principles he instilled in the company, his vision for the perfect shoe continues to be Vans’ top selling style.

“My uncle was responsible for the last and the design of the outsole [of the original Vans style],” Steve Van Doren said. “The same shoe they developed and sold in 1966 is still our number-one shoe sold in the world.”