Tompkins, Douglas Rainsford,
1943–2015, American business executive, conservationist, and philanthropist, b. Conneaut, Ohio. In 1964, he and his first wife, Susie Tompkins Buell, founded The North Face, an outdoor equipment and clothing company, selling their stake a few years later. The avid outdoorsman then made the film Mountain of Storms
(1972), about a 1968 expedition with rock climber Yvon Chouinard and others to Mount Fitz Roy, Patagonia, on the Chilean-Argentinian border; he subsequently joined his wife in founding the clothing company Esprit. The couple divorced in 1989; Tompkins sold his interest in Esprit and became more involved in environmental and conservation issues.
In 1993 Tompkins married the former CEO of the outdoor gear and clothing company Patagonia, Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, 1950–, b. near Santa Barbara, Calif., as Kristine McDivitt Wear. Through several foundations (and often working with other conservationists), the couple, who had moved to Chile, purchased and preserved millions of acres in Chile and Argentina, becoming one of the largest private landowners in the world. Their acquisitions, including Parque Pumalín (715,000 acres/290,000 hectares), a temperate rainforest in S Chile that was the world's largest private nature sanctury, have since become part of both nations' national park systems, and have led to the establishment (2018) of a system of parks in S Chile that also includes millions of acres of government land.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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