Sidney Harman 1918-2011
Sidney Harman, 1955
Born in Montreal in 1918 and raised in New York City, Dr. Sidney Harman got an early start in the magazine business, making his way through college by reselling recent issues at a mark-up. But Harman made his mark in the audio business. After serving in the military during World War II—he worked on sound-engineering products—Harman joined with Bernard Kardon, a fellow engineer, to found harman/kardon, Inc., in 1953. The company upended the audio business, introducing "hi-fi" (high-fidelity) receivers that radically improved on the scratchy equipment of the day. Five years later, harman/kardon developed the world's first stereo receiver. After buying out his partner, Harman built the company into a multimillion-dollar juggernaut before selling his stake in the company in 1977 to serve in the government. Later, when the new owner nearly drove the company out of business, Harman bought it back and again made it an industry leader.