Robert Cade, creator of Gatorade.
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print By JACK STRIPLING
Sun staff writer
1:08 pm, November 27, 2007
Dr. Robert Cade, the lead inventor of Gatorade and a University of Florida professor, died Tuesday morning, his family confirmed. He was 80.
Continue to 2nd paragraph Along with a team of other scientists, Cade created the popular sports drink in 1965. Since that time, Gatorade has become a boon for UF, generating $150 million in royalties for the university and helping to establish UF as a premier research institution.
Dr. Jim Free, who worked under Cade in the creation of Gatorade, said Tuesday that Cade was first and foremost a kind man who made it his mission to spread knowledge.
"His contributions were so multiple that it's just hard to cover them," Free said. "His main contribution is that he was a very nice, decent, generous person, and that he was dedicated to education. He was a real educator, a real researcher and a real academician and held a real place of honor at the University of Florida because he spent his whole career there teaching and doing his research. The things he's accomplished have been amazing."
The story of Gatorade has become the stuff of legend, in both the worlds of sports and business. The drink was produced to help Gator football players deal with the sweltering Gainesville heat, which was leading to intense dehydration. It became much more than one team's secret beverage, however, and is now the "official" sports dink of the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and several other significant professional sports groups.
Of late, Cade has been the recipient of many honors bestowed by the university. He was inducted into the Gators' athletics hall of fame recently, and just this month a plaque was erected on campus proclaiming UF as the "birthplace of Gatorade."