Douglas Tompkins, conservationist and businessman, Died at 72


Douglas Rainsford Tompkins was born on March 20, 1943, and died on December 8, 2015.

He was an American conservationist and businessman.

Douglas co-founded and ran two companies: the outdoor equipment and clothing company The North Face; and with his then-wife Susie, the Esprit clothing company.

Since leaving the business world in 1989, Douglas was active in various environmental activism and land conservation causes.

Along with his wife, Kris Tompkins, he bought and conserved over 2 million acres (8,100 km2) of wilderness in Chile and Argentina, more than any other private individual in the region, thus becoming one of the largest private landowners in the world.

Together, they were focused on park creation, wildlife recovery, ecological agriculture, and activism, with the goal of saving biodiversity.

On December 8, 2015, Douglas was kayaking with five others on General Carrera Lake in southern Chile when strong waves caused their kayaks to capsize.

Douglas spent a “considerable amount of time” in waters under 40 °F (4 °C).

He was flown via helicopter to a hospital in nearby Coyhaique, where he died from severe hypothermia.

Douglas was 72 years old and survived by his wife, two daughters, mother and brother.

Douglas Rainsford Tompkins passed away at age 72 in December 2015.