PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Gert Boyle, the colorful chairwoman of Columbia Sportswear Co. who starred in ads proclaiming her as “One Tough Mother,” died Sunday. She was 95.
Company spokeswoman Mary Ellen Glynn did not disclose the cause of death. She says Boyle died at a Portland, Oregon, assisted living facility.
Boyle took over the small outdoor clothing company in 1970 after her husband died from a heart attack.
Boyle’s father founded Columbia after the family fled Nazi Germany and settled in Portland. Her husband took over the business in 1964.
At the time, she was a 46-year-old housewife and mother of three with no real business experience. But she helped build the struggling company into a national brand and retailer.