CLEVELAND -- Samuel Glazer, who revolutionized home coffee brewing with the Mr. Coffee automatic drip coffeemaker, died on March 12 in Cleveland. He was 89.
Glazer and his North American Systems business partner, Vincent Marotta Sr., bought a Cleveland-area coffee delivery company in the late 1960s that provided large stainless steel drip automatic coffee brewers to commercial accounts. Their customers, enamored with the concept at work, requested a home-size version of brewers as an alternative at a time when they could only use a percolator or drink instant coffee. So the partners hired engineers to devise a solution.
The result was Mr. Coffee, which rolled onto kitchen counters in 1972, revolutionizing the way coffee was made. North American Systems sold more than a million units within the first three years. Former New York Yankees player Joe DiMaggio gave the brand a boost as its spokesperson for 14 years.
Glazer served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Following his service, he joined Marotta in a series of business ventures, including shopping mall and residential home development. The partners sold much of their property to finance the coffeemaker enterprise, which at its peak had nearly 1,000 workers.
They sold North American Systems to a securities firm in 1987 for $82 million. Mr. Coffee is now a brand of Jarden Corp.
Glazer is survived by his wife Jeanne and son Robert of Cresskill, N.J.