Douglas Tompkins, the founder of outdoor clothing companies. The North Face and Esprit died Tuesday after a kayaking accident. He was 72. Newslook
Douglas Tompkins, the entrepreneur and ptc bux maker who co-founded outdoor equipment giant The North Face almost 50 years ago, has died in a kayaking accident in the Chilean wilderness he dedicated his life to preserving.
Tompkins, 72, started The North Face as a small ski and backpacking retail and mail-order shop in San Francisco. He sold it more than 20 years later to concentrate on film making and environmental issues. In 1992 he founded the Conservation Land Trust, which bought large blocks of the untamed Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina.
“We are all deeply saddened by the news of Doug Tompkins’ passing. Doug was special to many of us,” The North Face said in a statement. “He was a passionate Articles Based for the environment, and his legacy of conservation is one that we hope to help continue in the work we do every day.”
Tompkins and five other people were kayaking Tuesday in cold water and bad weather when they were hit by a large wave and capsized, reported, citing Chilean Army officials.
A military patrol boat plucked three people from General Carrerra Lake and a helicopter pulled out three more, the website said. Tompkins reportedly was in the water for a “lengthy period” before he was rescued. He was rushed by helicopter to a hospital, where he died.
Tompkins was deeply involved in environmental issues in Chile and Argentina. Tompkins Conservation, a clearinghouse for the work of Tompkins and his wife Kristine, credited his efforts with acquiring 2.2 million acres of land for conservation.
“At his core an activist for nature and beauty, Tompkins possessed an incredible love for the wild world he explored in climbing and paddling trips,” Tompkins Conservation said in a statement. “He combined this with a refined aesthetic sense reflected in the scores of buildings he designed through the years for his parkland and farm restoration projects.”
Tompkins lived in the region for the last 25 years, working with governments in Chile and Argentina, lobbying for creation of national parks and fighting plans for hydroelectric dams that would tame the region’s wild rivers.
“Our sincere condolences to the family of Douglas Tompkins,” the environmental group Chile Sustainable said in a statement. “Thank you for being a great defender of our Patagonia
The North Face, which claimed revenue of $2 billion in 2013, was not Tompkins’ only foray into business. In 1968, he and his first wife Susie co-founded clothing retailer Esprit, which also grew into a multi-billion dollar company. They divorced in 1989.
“I’m incredibly saddened by this, but he lived on the edge,” “He used to come home from adventures and say, ‘Well, I cheated death again.’ That’s the way he lived. He was a very inspired person. There wasn’t anything he thought he wanted to do that he didn’t do.”
His daughter, Quincey Tompkins Imhoff, remembered Tompkins as a daring adventurer deeply dedicated to saving the planet.
“Ive never come in personal contact with anybody who could think so big,” Tompkins Imhoff told sfgate.com. “He had the ability to walk his talk, and the mark he left in terms of conservation and vision will live on. He used to always tell me, ‘Don’t let your imagination get in the way of your potential.’ He is gone, but he will not be forgotten.”