Our History
Imagining, discovering and inventing for more than 50 years
1958: Company founders Bill and Vieve Gore
1976: GORE-TEX® fabric is introduced to the market
1997: Gore moves into the minimally invasive medical products business.

W. L. Gore & Associates: Bringing Dreams to Reality

Founders Bill and Vieve Gore started W. L. Gore & Associates in the basement of their home in 1958. The company initially served the electronic products market. Fifty years later, in 2008, Gore celebrated its long success at translating dreams into tangible, valuable realities for customers and communities around the world.

The 1969 discovery of a remarkably versatile new polymer (by Bill and Vieve’s son, Bob Gore) led the enterprise into myriad new applications in medical, fabric, and industrial markets. As the company that invented this new polymer, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (or ePTFE), and introduced it in the marketplace, Gore is committed to remaining a leader in fluoropolymers.

The depth of Gore’s technical know-how has contributed to a wide range of processes and creative, reliable technologies that continue to solve problems and change outcomes for people around the world.

Did You Know?

  • Gore is one of the 200 largest privately held U.S. companies.
  • 2014 was the 3rd consecutive year that Gore earned a spot on the World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list by the Great Place to Work® Institute. The ranking is the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence and identifies the top 25 best multinational companies in terms of workplace culture.
  • For the 17th consecutive year, Gore earned a position on FORTUNE's annual list of the U.S. "100 Best Companies to Work For" in 2014. Gore ranked 22nd overall. Gore is one of only a few companies to appear on all of the U.S. "100 Best Companies to Work For" lists since Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz initiated the ranking in 1984. This includes appearing on all 17 FORTUNE® magazine lists (1998-2014) and in all three 100 Best Companies to Work For in America books (1984, 1985 and 1993).
  • Gore has also been named one of the best workplaces in France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Sweden, and the UK. And in 2013, for the first time, Gore was named one of the best workplaces in China.
  • More than 35 million innovative Gore Medical Devices have been implanted, saving and improving the quality of lives worldwide.
  • Gore has been granted more than 2,000 patents worldwide in a wide range of fields, including electronics, medical devices, and polymer processing.
  • Virtually all of Gore's thousands of products are based on just one material, a versatile polymer called ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene), which the company engineers to perform a wide variety of functions.
  • Today, with more than $3 billion in annual sales and more than 10,000 employees (called associates) worldwide, the company is owned by members of the Gore family and associates. Gore prefers this private ownership and believes this reinforces a key element of its culture to “take a long term view” when assessing business situations.

See 50 Years of Gore History Online

Learn more about Gore history on this interactive timeline.