Born in Portland, Oregon and raised in San Francisco, Dolby studied electrical engineering in college and graduate school. His early career focused on the beginnings of video tape technology. In 1965, the inventor started his own company in England, Dolby Laboratories. Dolby invented the Dolby Sound System in that same year, patenting the development in 1969.
Dolby was honored over the years by most areas of the entertainment industry. He received technical awards from the Oscars, Emmys and Grammys. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is set to be unveiled next year.
Dolby died of leukemia on Sept. 12 in San Francisco, leaving behind a wife and two sons.
Neil Portnow of The Recording Academy issued the following statement about Dolby’s death:
“Technical Grammy Award recipient Ray Dolby was an inventor and pioneer in noise-reduction and surround-sound technology. With Dolby Laboratories, his passion for sound led to innovations that have changed the way we listen to music and movies for nearly 50 years. His technologies have become an essential part of the creative process for recording artists and filmmakers, ensuring his remarkable legacy for generations to come. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends, and the talented employees of Dolby Labs who will continue to be inspired by his incredible vision.”