James Van Doren, designer of the popular skateboard shoe company, Vans, died from cancer on October 12. In 1966, James started the Van Doren Rubber Company in Anaheim, California which made rubber-soled canvas shoes. James ran the company from 1976 to 1984 and helped to innovate the special clingy sole that made the shoe popular with the skateboard culture. The popularity of the shoe was furthered by the film "Fast Times at Ridgemont High". In the film, Jeff Spicoli, the main character, a wise-cracking, slacker, wears checkerboard Vans slip-ons. James Van Doren was 72.