Sol F. Laufer was born in Germany, where he would later survive the work camps and World War II. In 1960, he and his wife and children immigrated to America. Laufer worked for General Precision and PerkinElmer before co-founding, with Paul F. Forman and Carl A. Zanoni, the Zygo Corporation in 1970. His only formal education was a high school diploma.
He received a number of awards from impressive organizations, including NASA. The Zygo founders each received the Edwin H. Land Medal from OSA “For working in collaboration to apply their technical expertise, insight and managerial skills, to make an invaluable contribution to the technical optics community as evidenced by their leadership in the fabrication of precision plano optics and Zygo's extensive range of interferometer-based metrology instrumentation. They revolutionized the optics industry by enabling the routine inspection of precision optical components and systems with unprecedented ease, accuracy, and affordability.”
Laufer passed away in 2018.