Douglas Tompkins, a noted conservationist and the founder of the clothing brands the North Face and Esprit, died on Tuesday after a kayaking accident on General Carrera Lake in the Patagonia region of southern Chile. He was 72. According to NYTIMES His death was confirmed by Coyhaique Regional Hospital, where Mr. Tompkins was flown with severe hypothermia. The health service in the Aysén administrative region said Mr. Tompkins was boating with five others when their kayaks capsized. The North Face co-founder left his executive life in the Bay Area and spent his fortune on land purchases in South America to save the continent’s remaining wild terrain.
North Face shared the tragic news on their facebook page.
We are all deeply saddened by the news of Douglas Tompkins’ passing. Doug was special to many of us. He founded The North Face in 1966 as a small ski and backpacking retail and mail order operation in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. He was a passionate advocate for the environment, and his legacy of conservation is one that we hope to help continue in the work we do every day. He most recently visited our headquarters in Alameda, CA in 2013 and again inspired us to live a life of outdoor exploration. He will be missed.
A great man and a visionary has left us. We all deeply appreciate and respect his pioneering work to build up Esprit – and his passion for this planet.
Rest in Peace.
Esprit Founder and Force of Nature.
*20 March 1943 †8 December 2015