Those entering the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 at the 86th annual Academy Awards will pass under the marquee named after a man who changed the art and science of movies, a man whose thumbprint is on the very form itself, a man who passed away earlier today at the age of 80.
Ray Dolby’s work in the audio space, through his patented Dolby noise-reduction system among countless other innovations, transformed audible media. He helped invent video tape recording while working at Ampex Corp. in the 1950s. He founded Dolby Laboratories, which has been at the forefront of the progressive audio experience from day one, most recently developing Dolby 7.1 and Dolby Atmos, the next steps in surround sound technology that has been advanced by the company every step of the way.
Dolby won an Oscar, a Grammy and two Emmys for his engineering feats in the space. He is, in so many words, a titan of the industry, someone whose work has affected you each and every time you settled in at the local multiplex.
“Today we lost a friend, mentor and true visionary,” Dolby President Kevin Yeaman said in a statement. “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.”
Dolby had been living with Alzheimer’s disease in recent years and was diagnosed with acute leukemia in July. He leaves behind a wife, two sons, four grandchildren and an industry that will forever be grateful. He will be missed.