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Piano Patriarch John Steinway Dead at 72

August 30, 1989

NEW YORK (AP) _ John H. Steinway, great-grandson of the founder of the famed Steinway & Sons piano company and an executive with the company since 1946, died early Tuesday. He was 72.

Steinway, who became ill while vacationing, died at a Plymouth, Mass., hospital at 5 a.m., according to company spokeswoman Nancy Shear. The cause of death was not immediately known.

His death leaves just one member of the family - his brother, Henry Z. - still working for the company that makes pianos favored by such performers as Vladimir Horowitz.

Steinway was born in Plymouth, Mass. His great-grandfather, Henry E. Steinway, left Germany for the United States in 1853, and founded the piano company here.

After graduating from Bard College, John Steinway began working at the family business in 1939, starting by ″schlepping lumber around the yard″ at the company’s factory, he recalled last year.

After Army service during World War II, he returned to Steinway in 1946, moving through the corporate ranks until he became chairman of the board. In recent years, he served as a company spokesman and spent his days in the company’s offices near Carnegie Hall.

In addition to Henry Steinway, he is survived by another brother, Frederick and sisters Elizabeth Chapin and Lydia Cochrane.

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