Sound technology pioneer passes away in San Francisco.
Ray Dolby, the engineer who founded Dolby Laboratories and revolutionised sound technology, has died in San Francisco aged 80.
Dolby had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years, before being diagnosed with leukaemia this summer.
The engineer led the way in noise reduction in audio recordings and his work won numerous awards, including an OBE from the Queen in 1987 and The National Medal of Technology from President Clinton in 1997.
President and CEO of Dolby Laboratories, Kevin Yeaman, called the company founder a "true visionary", while son David Dolby said his father’s legacy will live on.
In the 48 years since Mr Dolby started the firm, it has been credited with reshaping sound technology, cutting background hiss in tape recordings and later pioneering the concept of ‘surround sound’.
He won an Oscar in 1989 for his contributions to cinema, an achievement he shared with Dolby executive Ioan Allen.
"Today we lost a friend, mentor and true visionary," said Yeaman. "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 started his career at Ampex Corporation, where he was chief designer of all electronic aspects of the first practical videotape recording system, after attending Stanford University and completing his PhD at Cambridge University.
He founded Dolby Laboratories in London in 1965 and amassed more than 50 US patents, moving his company to San Francisco in 1976.
"My father was a thoughtful, patient and loving man, determined to always do the right thing in business, philanthropy, and as a husband and father," said David Dolby. "Our family is very proud of his achievements and leadership. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy of innovation will live on."
His other son, novelist and filmmaker Tom Dolby, added: "Though he was an engineer at heart, my father’s achievements in technology grew out of a love of music and the arts.
"He brought his appreciation of the artistic process to all of his work in film and audio recording."