Remembering Gert Boyle, the 'Tough Mother' of Columbia Sportswear

Her courage and sense of humor saved the brand

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On the morning of Nov. 3, Columbia Sportswear lost its pioneering maverick of a mother, the tough and sharp-witted chairwoman Gert Boyle. She was 95. 

The first woman inducted into the Sporting Goods Association’s Industry Hall of Fame in 2003, Boyle was affectionately known as the “First Lady of Oregon” and widely revered as a badass in the Pacific Northwest for her unexpected and innovative disruption of what was traditionally an outdoorsman’s world.

She also thwarted an armed burglary at 86 by setting off a silent alarm with her hands tied, which only elevated her status as an icon.

“Gert’s relentless dedication to being the best made her a tough mother.



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