Bob Smith, ski-goggle pioneer, dies at 78

Apr 27, 2012, 7:40 PM

KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) – An orthodontist whose skiing passion helped turn him into a pioneer of goggle and sunglasses has died of complications related to heart surgery. Robert Earl “Bob” Smith was 78.

Smith’s family confirmed that he died on April 18 in California.

Smith in the 1960s channeled his frustration with fogged goggles while skiing in Utah, using his knowledge of dental tools and foam to create a double-lensed ski goggle with inner lens that could be protected from the cold.

He patented his invention, now considered the industry standard.

Smith built the Smith Sport Optics headquarters in Ketchum in the 1970s, then sold the company in 1991.

Smith Sport Optics says it holds a 45 percent share of the snow-goggle market in North America, making it the top manufacturer.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Bob Smith, ski-goggle pioneer, dies at 78