Our History

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, Gore is celebrating 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.
  • In 2009, for the twelfth consecutive year, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. earned a position on FORTUNE 's annual list of the U.S. "100 Best Companies to Work For"; for four years, Gore has been named by London’s Sunday Times as the “Best Company to Work For” in the UK; Gore-Germany ranked second in the "50 Best Places to Work in Germany 2007" among mid-sized companies; and Gore-Italy ranked number 12 among the "35 Best Places to Work in Italy."
  • More than 25 million Gore medical implants have helped patients around the world live longer, healthier lives.
  • 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 $2 billion in annual sales and more than 8,000 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.