RIP Paul Van Doren

Paul Van Doren, the man that invented the shoes you’re almost definitely wearing right now, has passed away.

Last week, we posted a small article about his memoir, and while writing we were surprised to learn that the dude was 90. Paul was born in 1930, and to put that in perspective, World War II didn’t start until he was nine-years-old. At the end of the war (1945), Paul quit school and began spending his days at the horse track until his mother dragged him by the ear to the local shoe factory and got him a job. In 1966, Paul and his brother James opened the first Vans (or Van Doren’s) factory in Anaheim, California, producing three styles that retailed between $2.49 and $4.99, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Vans story is a classic, and we strongly recommend scoring a copy of Paul’s memoir, Authentic. Rest in peace, Mr Van Doren. Thanks for inventing the best shoe there ever was.


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