Nike founder, who used waffle iron to invent trainers, dies
Monday 27 December 1999
Bowerman, who coached at the University of Oregon from 1949 to 1972 and was on Nike's board until last year, died in his sleep on Friday at his home in Fossil, Oregon, said a company spokesman.
He was experimenting with ways to make a lighter, more flexible shoe for his athletes when he invented the first light sole in his garage using latex, leather, glue and his wife's waffle iron. In 1964 he teamed up with one of his former athletes, Phil Knight, to chip in $500 each and make 330 pairs of the "Waffle-sole" shoes. They sold them for $3.30 each at track meetings from the boot of Knight's car, the first step towards launching Nike, named from the Greek goddess of victory. It became a multi-billion-dollar shoe and clothes firm.
Bowerman also helped to popularise jogging with a 1967 book on running as exercise. "He was for so many of us a hero, leader and most of all teacher," Mr Knight, the Nike chairman, said. "My sadness at his passing is beyond words." Mr Knight has called Bowerman the biggest influence on his life after his parents.
During his career at the University of Oregon, Bowerman coached 24 individual National Collegiate Athletic Association track champions and led his teams to four national titles. In 24 years as coach his Ducks teams finished 16 times in the top 10. He was also head track coach at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich, marred by an attack that claimed the lives of 11 Israeli athletes, five terrorists and a West German policeman. Bowerman called it "the worst experience I've had in my entire educational and athletic life".
Bowerman, born in Portland in 1911, graduated from the University of Oregon, where he excelled at football and track events. He coached high- school football and athletics before taking the job at Oregon.
Two months ago Nike said a silhouette of Bowerman would appear on Nike running shoes alongside a smaller "swoosh", the company's trademark. (Reuters, AP)
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...