Ray Dolby, who invented some of the technologies that revolutionized film and sound recording, died at age 80 yesterday in San Francisco. Dolby pioneered a noise reduction format called Dolby SR and his company was instrumental in developing surround sound technology.

Dolby, born in Portland, Oregon, grew up in the San Francisco area. He was a precocious inventor. While attending high school in San Francisco and then at Stanford University, Dolby worked at Ampex Corp., where he was the chief designer of the first practical videotape recording system. He then went on to complete his PhD at Cambridge University in England and in 1965 founded Dolby Laboratories in London. Dolby moved his company to San Francisco in 1976

By the end of his life, he held more than 50 patents and had received two Oscars for scientific and technical achievement, several Emmys and a Grammy.

Dolby had suffered from Alzheimer’s and was diagnosed with leukemia this summer.

His son Tom Dolby says: Though he was an engineer at heart, my father’s achievements in technology grew out of a love of music and the arts”

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