Wilbert Lee "Bill" Gore (1912 – 1986) was an American businessman and entrepreneur who co-founded W. L. Gore and Associates with his wife, Genevieve (Vieve).
Wilbert L. Gore, founder of the company that manufactures the waterproof fabric Gore-Tex.
Mr. Gore, of Newark, Del., started W. L. Gore & Associates in the basement of his home in 1957, making electric wire insulation from a polymer commonly known as Teflon. The company is best known for Gore-Tex, which is widely used in sporting goods and camping equipment.
W. L. Gore & Associates had sales of more than $300 million last year. It has plants in the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, West Germany, France and India.
Mr. Gore was born in Meridian, Idaho, and began his business career in 1936.
He worked for Remington Arms in Ilion, N.Y., in 1941 and was a research supervisor and head of operations research for E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company from 1945 until starting his own company.
W. L. Gore & Associates has attracted international attention for its management structure, which does not have the hierarchy found in many corporations. The privately held company, which lacks titles or supervisors, is 90 percent owned by its employees.
Mr. Gore is survived by his wife of 51 years, the former Genevieve Walton of Salt Lake City. Funeral arrangements are pending.
He died apparently of a heart attack Saturday while backpacking. He was 74 years old. Mr. Gore, an avid backpacker and skier, died while hiking in the Wind River Range in Wyoming.
The Plastics Hall of Fame