Robert W “Bob” Gore, chair emeritus of the board of directors of W L Gore & Associates, passed away peacefully at home following a long illness on 17 September at the age of 83, the company he dedicated his working life to have announced in a recent statement.
Bob Gore, whose scientific discoveries paved the way for advancements in a variety of industries, including medical devices, assumed the chairman emeritus role in 2018 after 57 years of service on the Gore board, 30 of those as chairman. He also served as president of the company from 1976 to 2000.
During his tenure as president, Gore became a billion-dollar enterprise. Marking the occasion in 1996, Bob Gore said: “We plan to leave a legacy to society and to future generations: infants with surgically reconstructed hearts that live because of our medical products.”
Bob Gore’s commitment to research and development led to his 1969 discovery of a versatile new polymer form, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), which is found everywhere from the depths of space to the inner workings of the human body.
He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his technical achievements and in 2006 was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
In 1976, Bob Gore succeeded his father as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Gore. Under his leadership, the company’s technological achievements flourished.
Current Gore CEO, Jason Field, said: “Bob Gore appreciated that innovation can arise from many different places if entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged and fostered.
“Innovation as activity, doing things with your hands, experimenting, testing and observing, was instilled in our enterprise consistently and productively throughout Bob’s tenure as both president and chairman.”
Bob Gore’s nephew, current Gore board chair Bret Snyder, commented: “Bob’s innovative spirit shaped our enterprise from the very beginning, paving the way for W L Gore & Associates to improve lives and industries.
“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.”
Bob is survived by his wife Jane and a large family of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as four siblings (Susan Gore, Ginger Giovale, David Gore, Betty Snyder) and extended family.