His passion for skiing turned him into a goggle and sunglasses pioneer, Bob Smith reportedly dies of complications related to heart surgery on in California, he was 78. Born in San Carlos, Calif., he went on to graduate from Stanford University and the San Francisco College of Dentistry.
Bob served as a dentist in the U.S. Army in Germany in the late 1950s. While there, he traveled to Kitzbuehel ski area every weekend, stoking his passion for the sport.
After enduring frustrating goggle-fogging experiences while skiing in Utah, he began developing prototypes in the 1960s for an advanced pair of goggles to solve the problem.
He sat at the kitchen table with his wife Jean, using dental tools and foam to create a double-lensed, vented ski goggle whose inner lens was protected from the cold.
“The goggle really just came out of his need to see while skiing deep powder,” his son Drew Smith told the Idaho Mountain Express. “Everyone else just got to benefit from it.”
He patented his invention, which is now considered the industry standard.
Smith founded Smith Sport Optics in 1965 and established its headquarters in Ketchum, Idaho, in the early 1970s.