Robert “Bob” Gore, whose discoveries led to the creation of Gore-Tex, died on Sept. 17, according to a statement from W. L. Gore & Associates.
He was 83 years old.
Gore discovered a versatile polymer form in 1969 called expanded polytetrafluoroethylene that led to many product applications including Gore-Tex Fabrics, waterproof breathable outerwear that would become synonymous with the outdoors.
Further advancements in the technology allowed Gore to offer solutions to a variety of industries — including performance fabrics, medical devices, space exploration and more — that are still being used today. During his career, he was awarded nine patents for his work with fluoropolymers.
Because of his work, Gore was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006. Other honors Gore earned throughout his career include the Society of Plastics Engineers John W. Hyatt Award for benefits to society through the use of plastics and the Perkin Medal for innovation in applied chemistry resulting in commercial development from the Society of Chemical Industry — American Section.
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Gore assumed the chairman emeritus role in 2018 after serving on the Gore board for 57 years of service, which included 30 years as the chairman. He also was the president of Gore from 1976 to 2000.
“Bob’s innovative spirit shaped our enterprise from the very beginning, paving the way for W. L. Gore & Associates to improve lives and industries,” W. L. Gore & Associates board of directors chairman Bret Snyder said in a statement.
Gore is survived by his wife, Jane; several children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and four siblings (Susan Gore, Ginger Giovale, David Gore, Betty Snyder).