Robert W Gore, inventor and chairman emeritus of WL Gore & Associates, dies at 83

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Robert W. “Bob” Gore, PhD, the man behind expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) and chairman emeritus of the W.L. Gore & Associates board of directors, has died. He was 83.

Robert W. Gore reenacts the discovery of ePTFE

A seasoned inventor and leader at the global materials science company behind a slew of medical devices, Gore passed away peacefully at home following a long illness.

His scientific discoveries spanned many other industries, including performance fabrics, space exploration and filtration.

Gore, a chemical engineer, took on the role of chairman emeritus role in 2018 after nearly 60 years on the Gore board, 30 as chairman. He also served as president of Gore from 1976 to 2000.

“Bob’s commitment to research and development led to his 1969 discovery of a versatile new polymer form, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). The introduction of this groundbreaking new material opened a world of possibilities for products and further innovations,” Gore said in statement.

“Today, ePTFE is at the heart of products found everywhere from the depths of space to the inner workings of the human body. Along the way, Bob would be awarded nine patents for his work with fluoropolymers.”

Born on April 15, 1937, in Salt Lake City, Gore was the oldest of five children of Wilbert L. (Bill) and Genevieve W. (Vieve) Gore, the founders of W.L. Gore & Associates. In 1976, Bob succeeded his father as president and CEO of Gore.

“Bob Gore appreciated that innovation can arise from many different places if entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged and fostered,” said current Gore CEO Jason Field.

He is survived by wife Jane, a large family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and four siblings—Susan Gore, Ginger Giovale, David Gore Betty Snyder.

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