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Ray Dolby, founder of Dolby Laboratories, dies at 80

PORTLAND, Ore. — Ray Dolby, an American inventor and audio pioneer who founded Dolby Laboratories, has died at the age of 80.

The company said Thursday that Dolby died in his home at San Francisco. He had been living with Alzheimer's disease for several years and was diagnosed with acute leukemia this summer.

Dolby founded his namesake company in 1965 and grew it into an industry leader in audio technology. His work in noise reduction and surround sound led to the creation of a number of technologies that are still used in music, movies and entertainment today. The innovations also turned Dolby into a rich man with an estimated fortune of $2.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

"Today we lost a friend, mentor and true visionary," Kevin Yeaman, president and CEO of Dolby Laboratories, said in a statement.

Yeaman said that Dolby invented an entire industry around delivering an experience in sound. His work ranged from helping to reduce the hiss in cassette recordings to bringing "Star Wars" to life on the big screen in Dolby Stereo.


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