Known for crafting the pinball machine into what we know it as today, Steve Kordek revolutionized the industry with his two-flipper concept way back in 1948. Sadly, his daughter Catherine Petrash confirmed Kordek's death to the NY Times
last week. He was 100 years old.
Kordek designed his final arcade machine in 2003, based on the National Lampoon's Family Vacation films, after having spent a life crafting machines for Genco, Bally, and Williams. He started his auspicious career in 1948 with a two-flipper redesign of the pinball machine, an improvement over the previous year's six-flipper design (pioneered by Chicago's D. Gottlieb & Company). From there, Kordek went on to craft tables at Bally and Williams, such as Contact, Pokerino, and Grand-Prix.
"Pinball!" author Roger Sharpe described Kordek's impact on the world of pinball as, "comparable to D. W. Griffith moving from silent films through talkies and color and CinemaScope and 3-D with computer-generated graphics."
Kordek is survived by his daughter Catherine; by another daughter, Donna Kordek-Logazino; two sons, Frank and Richard; a sister, Florence Wozny; two brothers, Joseph and Frank; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren, according to the NYT report.
[Pinball image via Shutterstock