Historical records matching Wilbert L. "Bill" Gore
About Wilbert L. "Bill" Gore
Wilbert L. "Bill" Gore (1912–1986) was a businessman and entrepreneur who co-founded W. L. Gore and Associates with his wife, Genevieve (Vieve). He gained international attention and respect for nurturing the company from a home-based family business into a worldwide corporation while practicing a unique management style that emphasized freedom, fairness, commitment and “waterline” decision-making in an open and creative work environment.
Trained as a chemical engineer and chemist, his technical interests included polymer engineering, applications of statistical methods to experimentation, and methods of operations research. He held patents in the fields of plastics, fluorocarbons, and electronics. He was also an active outdoorsman.
Born in Idaho in 1912, Bill Gore held degrees in chemical engineering (B.S., 1933) and physical chemistry (M.S., 1935) from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. His early career included employment at American Smelting and Refining Company, Remington Arms, and the DuPont Company. In 1957, Gore left a career with DuPont to pursue an idea for making electronic ribbon cable for use in computers that was insulated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
Bill and Vieve started their company in the basement of their Newark, Delaware home in 1958. Under Gore’s leadership, the company grew from a modest business into an international corporation known best for its waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex fabrics. Today, the company has a broad portfolio of products based on PTFE that include cables for electronic signal transmission, diverse industrial applications, medical implants and laminated fabrics.
Gore served as president of W. L. Gore & Associates until he stepped down in 1976. However, Gore maintained his position as Chairman of the Board until his death. He died of a heart attack in July 1986 while on a backpacking trip in Wyoming's Wind River Range.
Awards and Honors
Bill Gore was honored with numerous business, education, and community awards, including a University of Delaware Medal of Distinction (1983) and an honorary doctorate in humanities (1971) from Westminster College. In 1985, Bill Gore received the Prince Philip Award for Polymers in the Service of Mankind, which honored Gore’s Medical Products Division. The award is given in recognition of polymers that have provided a significant service for mankind. He was inducted posthumously into The Plastics Hall of Fame in 1990. Bill and Vieve Gore donated generously to educational institutions, community services and charity.
Wilbert L. "Bill" Gore's Timeline
January 25, 1912
Meridian, Ada County, Idaho, United States
April 15, 1937
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
July 26, 1986
Lander, Fremont County, Wyoming, United States
Alpine, Utah County, Utah, United States