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Douglas Tompkins

The creator of an outerwear staple brand has died following a tragic accident.

Douglas Tompkins, founder of The North Face, was boating with five others in southern Chile when the group’s kayaks capsized. The 72-year-old was flown to Coyhaique Regional Hospital with severe hypothermia. He remained in the intensive care unit until his death on Tuesday.

Chile’s army said strong waves were to blame for the accident. A local prosecutor said that Tompkins spent a “considerable amount of time in waters under 4 degrees Celsius,” (or 40 degrees Fahrenheit). The other boaters were eventually rescued and none were seriously injured.

Tompkins founded The North Face in the mid-1960s as a small retail shop in San Francisco. His fortune grew along with the creation of Esprit, known for its casual sportswear and lifestyle clothing, which he founded with his ex-wife.

SOURCE: The New York Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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