On April 13, 2011, Sidney Harman passed away from complications with leukemia at the age of 92. He was an innovator in consumer electronics, amongst many other things, since the 1950s. In 1953, Harman joined together with designer Bernard Kardon to found Harman Kardon, a company that has become very highly esteemed in the audiophile world.
In 1956, Kardon retired and Harman took complete control of the company. He turned that company into Harman International Industries, which is the current parent company of brands like Mark Levinson, Revel, and, of course, the Harman Kardon components. The company has become a powerful corporation in the world, partnering with Lexus for promotions, turning Harman into a millionaire several times over.
Harman extended his reach beyond the consumer electronics world as he founded the Academy of Polymathic Studies at USC as well as the Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, D.C., which became a popular performance space. He also attempted to resuscitate the Newsweek publication by acquiring it and merging with the website The Daily Beast, even though he faced a great deal of criticism for it.
Harman was an incredibly important figure in the hi-fi world, as well as a great man. Much of the way that the industry operates now is because of him, and for that we are all in his debt.