Bill Simpson, an icon name in the safety industry, has died at 79, following a stroke.

Simpson, whose achievements include the development of the firesuit, and drag racing parachute, is credited with the implementation of Nomex as a critical material in creating fireproof equipment.

He also competed in the Indianapolis 500 back in 1974.

Simpson left his company Simpson Racing Products to create Impact Performance Products in 2003.

Simpson Race Products issued a statement on Monday.

Simpson Race Products is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of the founder and namesake of our brand, Bill Simpson. Bill will always be known as the foremost pioneer in racing safety. Thousands of racers have and will continue to benefit from his innovative spirit. It is with deep respect that we say, rest in peace Bill. Your legacy of making racing safer will live on."