Co-Founder of Vans, James Van Doren, died Oct. 12 at the age of 72.

James Van Doren and his older brother Paul had only sample sneakers to offer when they opened their first store, in Anaheim, in 1966. They took a dozen orders in the morning and delivered custom canvas deck shoes, made in their adjacent factory, in the afternoon.

Operating as the Van Doren Rubber Co., the brothers and two other co-founders planned to succeed by cutting out the middleman and selling their distinctive thick rubber-soled shoes directly to the public.

Read the obituary at the LA Times.