Paul Van Doren, 90, Dies; Built an Empire With Skateboard Shoes

Vans sneakers, with grippy soles, became a hit in the skateboard world and later a multibillion-dollar nationwide sensation thanks to a Sean Penn movie.

By Daniel E. Slotnik

Paul Van Doren, a founder of Vans, the Southern California sneaker company that became synonymous with skateboarding almost by chance and then grew into a multibillion-dollar business, died on May 6 in Fullerton, Calif. He was 90.

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