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Ray Dolby, Audio Technology Inventor, Dies

Ray Dolby

Ray Dolby, founder of the Dolby Laboratories, died at his home in San Francisco on Thursday (Sept. 12) at the age of 80. He had been suffering from leukemia since the summer.

“Today we lost a friend, mentor and true visionary,” Kevin Yeaman, president and CEO of Dolby Laboratories, said in a statement that was reprinted in the Daily News.

A native of Portland, Ore., Dolby began his career at Ampex as a teenager, where he worked on the first videotape recorders. After graduating college, he spent time in India as an adviser for the United Nations. In 1965, he founded his company in London and relocated to San Francisco 11 years later.

With its namesake at the helm, Dolby pioneered technology in surround sound and noise reduction that is still used by the music and film industries. To many people, Dolby is most remembered for the ubiquitous feature on cassette decks in the 1980s that reduced tape hiss.

Dolby received numerous lifetime achievement awards, including the U.S. National Medal of Technology and induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 1983 he was named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.

Dolby is survived by Dagmar, to whom he was married for 47 years, his two sons and four grandchildren.

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