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One Solid Mother, Gert Boyle, founder of Columbia sportswear, dead, 95 years old



Gert Boyle, the thrifty, longtime leader of Columbia Sportswear who helped create the brand while creating an indelible image of strength for himself, died Sunday. She was 95.

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She ran the company from 1970 to 1988 and inspired the One Hard Mom campaign in the 1980s, which included an image of her folding arm

Boyle took over the small outdoor clothing company in 1970 after her husband, Neal, died of a heart attack. At the time, she was a 46-year-old housewife and mother of three. without real business experience.

Her father founded the Columbia Hat Company after fleeing Nazi Germany with his family and settled in Portland, The Oregonian reported.

Boyle's husband took over the business in 1964. When he died, the business took a lot of calls, wondering if Columbia would close down. but after being nickel-plated and obscured by the prospective buyer, she said she would prefer to run the company on her own.

Company sales were $ 600,000 in 1971. The company now sells products in more than 100 countries and has net sales of $ 2.47 billion in 2017, reports The Oregonian.

Boyle was the first woman to be inducted into the National Sports Goods Hall of Fame. She has often been recognized for her work as a female business leader, including publishing a book about her experience.

She survived three children and five grandchildren.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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