Bob Smith (deceased)
Year Inducted: 2014
Dentist turned goggle inventor, Bob Smith saw a need and filled it with U.S. Patent No. 3377626. That number gave birth to the now ubiquitous thermal lens goggle encased in breathable-vent foam framing enjoyed worldwide by skiers and snowboarders.
Anxious to give back to his skiing passion, Smith constantly improved his goggles, primarily by way of adhering to advice, ideas and criticisms he solicited from users.
Today, Smith’s open-to-advice mantra, his innovative nature and product enhancements provide uncompromising safety, comfort and enjoyment to millions of winter sports enthusiasts worldwide.
Smith Optics, the company Smith founded in Sun Valley, Idaho in 1965, serves as an inspiration for snowsport industry dreamers and builders. It was started humbly at Smith’s kitchen table where he toiled with dental tools, glue and foam to make each goggle by hand.
Today, that love generates annual worldwide sales of more than 60 million dollars for the company’s current owners because it continues to improve the experience for skiers and snowboarders, as evidenced by the fact that thermal lenses are used on virtually all performance ski goggles today.
Career Awards & Highlights:
-2013 elected to the Sun Valley Ski Hall of Fame
-2013 elected to Inter Mountain Hall of Fame