died in 2011 at 72.

His son Steve, daughter Cheryl and some of his grandchildren continue to work for the company he built.

Mr. Van Doren spent more than 15 years at Randolph Rubber. In 1964 he moved to Southern California to run a factory for Randolph there but left two years later to start Vans, having had disagreements with Randolph management.

He retired in the early 1980s, and his brother James took control of the company. James Van Doren tried to compete with companies like Nike and Adidas by expanding into different sports — running, basketball, wrestling and break dancing among them — only to bankrupt the company by 1984, Mr. Van Doren wrote.

Mr. Van Doren returned to lead Vans back to solvency. He refocused the company on its core offerings, and in a few years Vans paid back about $12 million in debt, he wrote.

mound wearing a pair of Sk8-Hi shoes customized with spikes, Mr. Van Doren wrote.

“The company doesn’t pay people to do these things; they happen organically,” he added. “Our customers, famous or not, just like the shoes.”

Alain Delaquérière contributed research.

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