Ray Dolby

by Alan A. Thomas
(Ascot, UK)

It was so sad to hear of the death of Ray Dolby on the BBC program Last Word today.

I am an electronics engineer at ARM Limited and worked at Dolby Labs in the 1960s in Stockwell, London, until Mr. Dolby decided to move his design team to San Francisco.

I will always remember Mr. Dolby as an unassuming gentleman who always had time to say hello if I happened to be working late in the lab, that was opposite his office, before he left for the evening around 20:00.

I remember working very late on the first Cinema Sound Enhancement system, an analog multiband graphic equalizer, and installing it for demonstration at the ABC Cinema in Edgware Road, London.

I also remember sitting in the small studio situated on the top floor of the Stockwell office listening to the first BBC experiments in surround sound that must have captured Mr Dolby's imagination. Who could have dreamed, other than Mr. Dolby, what that could lead to.

The chief engineer then was Mr. David Robinson, and it was Mr. Dolby and Mr Robinson to whom I am eternally grateful for giving me my first opportunity in electronic design which has led to a very successful 45 year career in electronic engineering.

My sincere condolences to his family, he was a very special man.

Alan A. Thomas

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