AKA Robert W. Gore
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, UT
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist, Business
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Co-inventor of Gore-Tex
In 1957, while still attending college, chemist Robert Gore developed a method adapting polytetrafluoroethylene resin (PTFE, commonly called Teflon) to create heavily-insulated wire and cable. This became a key product for W. L. Gore & Associates, the firm founded with his father in 1958. In 1973 he invented a process for making a porous form of PTFE, characterized by extremely high strength and porosity. His patent, granted in 1976, provided the foundation for the latter development of a waterproof laminate called expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), which is now trademarked as Gore-Tex.
An ideal material for winter wear, ePTFE looks and feels like a smooth fabric but is actually comprised of a membrane with about nine-billion microscopic pores per square inch. These holes are many thousands of times smaller than a molecule of water, but hundreds of times larger than a water-vapor molecule, a combination which effectively keeps moisture from rain or snow from penetrating the ePTFE fabric and reaching the wearer's skin, while also allowing perspiration to escape as it evaporates.
Gore's invention also has applications in medical prosthesis, strings for musical instruments, and fuel cell design. Present-day media sources frequently cite Rowena Taylor and Gore's father, Wilbert Gore, as co-inventors of ePTFE, but the patent for the "waterproof article for use in, for example, protective clothing", filed in 1978 and granted in 1980, lists only Robert Gore and Samuel B. Allen, Jr as co-inventors.
Gore's sister, Susan Gore Otto, made headlines by adopting her ex-husband as her son in 2003, a move (currently being challenged in court) which seems intended to gain a larger share of the family's wealth, which, per their father's will, is split evenly among the elder Gore's grandchildren. Gore's stepson, Chris Coons, is a US Senator from Delaware.
Father: Wilbert Gore (chemist, founder of W. L. Gore & Associates, b. 1912, d. 1986)
Mother: Genevieve Gore ("Vieve", b. 1916, m. 1935, d. 2005)
Brother: David Gore
Sister: Elizabeth Gore Snyder
Sister: Ginger Gore Giovale
Sister: Susan Gore Otto
Wife: Sarah Gore (div.)
Wife: Mary Coons Gore
Son: Chris Coons (stepson, US Senator)
Son: Steve Coons (stepson)
Son: Tom Coons (stepson, W. L. Gore & Associates executive)
High School: Newark High School, Wilmington, DE (1955)
University: BS Chemistry, University of Delaware (1959)
University: MS Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota Duluth (1961)
University: PhD Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota Duluth (1964)
W. L. Gore & Associates President & CEO (1976-2000)
W. L. Gore & Associates Chemist (1963-76)
Member of the Board of W. L. Gore & Associates (1961-)
SCI Sir William H. Perkin Medal 2005
National Inventors Hall of Fame 2006
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Super High Me (20-Apr-2008) · Himself
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