As expressed on the company’s website, the whole Vans family is saddened to mark the passing of one of Vans' founders, James ‘Jim’ Van Doren, at the age of 72 on Oct. 12 after a long illness. In 1966, he had founded - together with his older brother Paul Van Doren, long-time friend Gordon C. Lee, and partner Serge Delia - the Van Doren Rubber Company, maker of Vans shoes, in Anaheim, California. According to the website and facebook entry, Jim Van Doren will always be remembered by Vans “as a great innovator and the mechanical mind that joined with brother Paul’s retail acumen and Gordy’s shoe manufacturing expertise to take Vans from that single store to national prominence and setting the stage for the global brand that Vans is today.”