Robert Gore passed away last Thursday at his home in Marlyand after a longer illness, according to his former company W.L. Gore & Associates.
A discovery made by Gore in 1969 as a game changer for the outdoor industry: In 1969, the chemist found a way to stretch polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) rods after heating, thereby achieving a 1000 percent increase in PTFE surface. This was the foundation of Robert "Bob" Gore's Gore-Tex membrane.
The membrane consists of microscopic pores that are breathable, but too small for water droplets. W.L. Gore & Associates, at that time under the direction of Robert's father Bill, patented the material revolution, which is now used in outdoor products such as functional clothing and shoes, but also in other industries - such as pharmaceutical products or space travel.
"Bob Gore appreciated that innovation can arise from many different places if entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged and fostered," said Jason Field, CEO of W. L. Gore & Associates.
Robert Gore himself served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company from 1976 to 2000 and afterwards as Chairman of the Board of Directors until 2016. During his time as President his restructuring of the company with almost no hirarchy and small factory units up to 200 persons was trailblazing.
"We will continue to build on his legacy with a commitment toward breaking new ground and developing solutions that make the world a better place," said Bret Snyder, Robert Gore's nephew and Board member.
Robert Gore is survived by his wife Jane and several children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.