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Ray Dolby

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Ray Dolby — founder of Dolby Laboratories


Ray Dolby (1933-2013) made his name synonymous with sound. After inventing noise-reduction technology that transformed the music recording industry, he developed innovations in cinema sound that reshaped the experience of going to the movies. Dolby held more than 50 patents during his lifetime.

After earning his BS in electrical engineering at Stanford in 1957, he earned his PhD in physics at Cambridge University in 1961. Four years later, he founded Dolby Laboratories in London. His trademark Dolby noise reduction, which removed the hiss from taped recordings, became a hit with recording artists and fans alike. In the 1970s, the company branched out into cinema sound, where its technology greatly improved the quality of film soundtracks. In 1976, Dolby Laboratories moved its world headquarters to San Francisco.

Showered with accolades throughout his career, Dolby received Scientific and Engineering Awards and an Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and multiple Emmys from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.