Most of us have owned at least one of his inventions in a lifetime as Frank Rudy is known as the person responsible for inventing the Nike Air we have grown to love. Aged 84, Rudy passed away in his Californian home on December 13th. He was an avid inventor with 250 patents under his name resulting from his background in aerospace engineer in the military and later on moving across various industries to provide his new ideas.
Nike founder Phil Knight had tried on the prototype sneaker with Air (a cushioning unit filled with pressurized gasses) in 1977 and the rest is history. From then Nike had come to release the Nike Air Tailwind (1979) then Air Force 1 (1982) to the spawning of the 1987 “Revolution” campaign in which Nike Air Max 1 was launched showcasing visible Air for the first time. After this revolution Nike has been synonymous for Air and its comfort as that tradition stays alive.
Nike CEO Mark Parker reflects that “Frank Rudy holds a singular place in the pantheon of Nike innovation” and that “his relentless creativity and focus on solving problems was, in many ways, the template for how Nike pursues performance to this very day.”
Also Rudy was known to be in close contact with doctors in Ohio and New York to fund and help with cancer research which he had dedicated his life to. Frank Rudy will not be forgotten as Nike prepares to launch the “Fresh Air” campaign in 2010. via: Sole Collector