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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ Walter A. Fallon, a tough-minded chief executive at Eastman Kodak Co. who oversaw a tripling of sales while at the helm of the world's biggest photography company from 1972 to 1983, is dead. He was 84.

Fallon, a longtime resident of the Rochester suburb of Irondequoit, died at his home Wednesday night. The cause of death was not disclosed.

During the Fallon era, Kodak introduced Ektaprint office copiers, Ektachem blood analyzers and disk cameras, selling tens of millions of the moderately priced cameras before they lost ground to 35mm models in the 1980s.

Under his tenure, Kodak also was sued by Polaroid Corp., which claimed its patents for instant photography had been infringed. Polaroid eventually won that lawsuit, with Kodak paying its rival $925 million in 1991.

Fallon, a chemist, joined Kodak in 1941, where gradually ascended into the ranks of senior executives and became chief executive and president in May 1972.

He added the title of chairman in 1977 and retained all three posts until his retirement in July 1983. He was succeeded as CEO Colby Chandler.

Kodak's sales swelled from $3.48 billion at the end of 1972 to $10.8 billion in 1982, and its work force jumped from 114,800 to 136,500 employees. Months before his departure in 1983, Kodak's hometown payroll peaked at 60,400 employees. Today, it has fallen below 24,000.

``I deeply mourn the passing of a great leader,'' Kodak's current CEO, Dan Carp, said Thursday. ``Walt built much of the foundation for the success of Kodak. He had a vision of the world as a single marketplace.''

A native of Schenectady, N.Y., Fallon earned a chemistry degree from Union College and a master of science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.