M. Frank Rudy

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Marion Frank Rudy (24 January 1925 – 13 December 2009) was the aeronautical engineer who patented a cushioning system based on an inert gas encapsulated in polyurethane plastic. It was trademarked by Nike as the "Air" sole. He was a member of Case Western Reserve University's class of 1950, and a graduate of Fairview High School, in Fairview Park, Ohio. He was also a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.[1]

The 19 varsity athletic teams at his alma mater, Case Western Reserve Spartans, wear a special patch on their uniforms commemorating him and his invention. The emblem has Rudy's initials, MFR, with a 3D design of special texture and shine to resemble inflated air sole look, and has orbiting planets pay tribute to his career as an aerospace engineer.[2]

Rudy died in his home in California on December 13, 2009. He was 84 years old.[3]


  1. ^ "Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity - Homepage". Phi Kappa Tau.
  2. ^ "Nike and Case Western Reserve University team up on new athletic uniforms that honor alumnus and Nike Air Sole inventor".
  3. ^ oregonlive.com. Accessed 2009-12-26.