Robert Gore Biography & Net Worth
|Popular Name:||Robert Gore|
|Real Name:||Robert W. Gore|
|Birth Date:||April 15, 1937|
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
|Age:||DiednSeptember 17, 2020 (aged 83)|
|Profession:||Businessman, Scientist, Inventor, Engineer|
|Net Worth:||$830 Million|
Robert Gore was an American engineer, inventor, scientist, and businessman who led his family’s company, W. L. Gore & Associates, in creating applications of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) ranging from medical equipment to computer cables to the outer layer of space suits. His most notable advancement was likely his invention of Gore-Tex , a breathable and waterproof material widely used in sporting and outdoor gear. Robert Gore biography, life details and career journey leading to his last days have been documented in this brilliant piece. Read on.
Robert Gore’s Early Life
Robert W. Gore was born on 15 April 1937 in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States to Wilbert “Bill” Gore and his wife and Genevieve “Vieve” Gore. In 1950, the family relocated to Newark, Delaware to be close to his father’s place of employment at DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington. The family stayed with friends for many months while Robert’s father built their own house.
Bob attended school in Newark starting from eighth grade. He attended the University of Delaware, graduating with a degree in chemical engineering in 1959. Along with his wife and son in September 1959, he relocated to University Village to attend graduate school. He completed his studies at the University of Minnesota, obtaining an MS and later a PhD in chemical engineering in 1963.
Robert Gore’s Career
While his father Bill Gore was employed at DuPont Experimental Station, he also carried out experiments at home with materials obtained from DuPont, such as Teflon polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon PTFE). He wanted to insulate wires using PTFE, but attempts to coat the wires with powdered PTFE failed in his experiment. In April 1957, while Robert was still studying at Delaware, his father showed him around his lab and detailed the problem he was having. Bob came up with a suggestion of surrounding the wires involved with a different form of PTFE, and the idea worked.
Bill and and his wife Genevieve created the W. L. Gore & Associates in 1958. For the first two years, the family ran their business out of the basement of their home. Robert Gore lived upstairs with his family members, and the company’s employees. At one point 13 of the 16 staff working for the W. L. Gore & Associates company lived in the Gore family home. The company produced the Multi-Tet cable, and it turned out a breakout product for them.
In June 1961, while still studying at the University of Minnesota, Robert Gore was voted to the board of directors of the company, W. L. Gore & Associates. Two years later, after receiving his PhD in chemical engineering, he joined the company as a research associate. In 1967, he was selected the company’s technical and research leader. By 1971, Gore was experimenting with laminates. Based on his work, the company created a waterproof laminate known as expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), now marketed as Gore-Tex. Some of the earliest successful products of the company, based on work with laminates, included membrane for blood oxygenation for Baxter International, microfiltration products for Millipore Corporation, and burn bandages made for the Park-Davis company.
Gore-Tex is more popular for its use as a breathable, waterproof fabric, used in sport footwear and outdoor clothing. The first commercial sales of the Gore-Tex were made in the year 1976 when the company Early Winters, Ltd., started making and selling Gore-Tex tents. The following year, Early Winters sold Gore-Tex rainwear.
In 1976, Robert Gore replaced his father as the president and Chief Executive Officer of W. L. Gore & Associates. The company retained its headquarters in Newark, Delaware, but expanded across the globe. In 2000, Gore stepped down as president and held the position of chairman until 2016.
Personal Life, Family, Death
Robert Gore married his third wife Sarah Louise Coons in 1977. She was a mother of three boys. On 17 September, 2020, Bob died in Earleville, Maryland at the age of 83. He was survived by his wife, several children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
While he was alive, Gore made philanthropy his major focus. He also paid attention to his alma maters, the University of Minnesota and the University of Delaware. He served on the board of trustees as vice chairman and also as an emeritus. He and other members of his family have donated to Delaware many times. Some instances include:
- $1 million to build a First-Year Graduate Student Fellowship Scheme in Chemical Engineering & Materials Science at University of Minnesota
- $1 million to fund the Genevieve W. Gore Hall in the Roselle Center for Arts
- $1 million to establish the Robert W. Gore Fellowship at the College of Engineering
- $10 million for an addition to Amundson Hall at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus
- $10 million for a interdisciplinary science and engineering lab
- $18.5 million for the construction of Gore Hall
Awards & Achievements
Owing to his technical accomplishments, Robert Gore was voted into the National Academy of Engineering in the year 1995. In 2003, received the Winthrop-Sears Medal in appreciation and recognition of his entrepreneurial achievements that contribute significantly both to the vitality of the chemical industry and also the betterment of mankind. In 2005, he was awarded the Perkin Medal for his contributions to the enhancement of the quality of life and world competitiveness of the United States economy. In 2006, he was inducted into American National Inventors Hall of Fame in recognition of his work in the development of Gore-Tex. Gore was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Heriot-Watt in 2001.
Robert Gore Net Worth
At the time of his death, Robert Gore net worth was $830 million. The American engineer and scientist earned his fame and fortune for being the inventor of “Gore-Tex”.
For much of his lifetime, Mr. Gore was the richest resident of Delaware. He and his father created a successful company which today, generates more than $4 billion per year in revenue.