Wilbert L. "Bill" Gore
Material, Process, Management
Made several major contributions to the plastics industry, as a pioneer in the application of Teflon polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) resin.
After developing many applications of PTFE, Gore discovered that the material could be stretched to form a very strong, porous material, which was tradenamed "Gore-Tex." This expanded PTFE is best known as a waterproof, breathable fabric with countless applications in the medical field. Gore's innovative applications in this field -- such as sutures, vascular grafts, heart patches, and synthetic knee ligaments -- have saved thousands of lives.
As the founder of W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. in 1957, Gore is noted for his unique philosophy of enterprise. His own creative genius and management style led to many innovations in the use of PTFE, which, in addition to those in the medical field, include wire and cable products for aerospace, defense, telecommunications, and the computer industry.
Gore is survived by two sons and three daughters. His wife, company co-founder Genevieve Gore, died in 2005.