Dolby Laboratories founder passes away

Ray Dolby, the founder of Dolby Laboratories, has died at the age of 80 after he lost his fight against leukaemia.

Dolby passed away in San Francisco after contracting leukaemia this summer and he had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years.

"Today we lost a friend, mentor and true visionary. Ray Dolby founded the company based on a commitment to creating value through innovation and an impassioned belief that if you invested in people and gave them the tools for success they would create great things. Ray's ideals will continue to be a source of inspiration and motivation for us all,” said Kevin Yeaman, President and CEO, Dolby Laboratories.

Dolby was born in Portland, Oregon back in January 1933 with his family moving back to the San Francisco peninsula early in his life.

He had a long career in the electronics industry where he starting working for Ampex Corporation in 1949 whilst still a student and helped to successfully develop early video recording mechanisms. He continued to study and eventually completed a PhD at Cambridge University and this led him to founding Dolby Laboratories in London in 1965.

The company was eventually uprooted to San Francisco in 1976 and over its lifetime became a world-leader in audio technology, where it remains to this day. The invention of “surround sound” meant the firm will forever be remembered in the audio stakes and Dolby himself owned over 50 US patents for various different technologies.

Dolby picked up numerous awards over his lifetime with an Oscar in 1989 and a Grammy in 1995 alongside various Emmys and an OBE awarded by the Queen in 1987.

In recent years Dolby had taken a back seat role and focused on philanthropy efforts in conjunction with his wife as they supported a number of different causes and organisations across the globe.

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