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JBL’s John Morgan Eargle Dies At 76

Northridge, Calif. — John Morgan Eargle, 76, a long-time executive with JBL and Harman, has died.

Sidney Harman, founder and executive chairman of Harman International Industries, the parent company of JBL, called Eargle “an industry legend” in a statement and commended his 31 years of contributions to the JBL and Harman family of companies.

“The industry lost a giant with the passing of John Eargle,” Dr. Harman said today, “but we at JBL and Harman International lost a beloved and revered member of our family. John Eargle cannot be replaced, but his life, his vision, and his many contributions to our industry can and will be memorialized in concrete ways by our company.”

Eargle joined JBL as a consultant in 1976, and shortly thereafter moved to a full-time position as product development VP which he held for a six-year period. In the early 1980’s he returned to a consulting role with the title of senior director, product development and application, the position he held for the rest of his life.

Eargle participated in product development activities for the professional and consumer divisions of JBL, for Harman Becker branded car sound systems, and for other Harman divisions such as AKG microphones. In 2002, John received a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences along with other JBL engineers for the concept, design and engineering of the modern constant-directivity, direct radiator-style motion picture loudspeaker systems. Eargle was a member of a variety of engineering societies and won several awards for his work.

He had just completed the book “The JBL Story: 60 Years of Audio Innovation” and had previously co-authored “JBL Audio Engineering for Sound Reinforcement” which are among ten books on audio, loudspeakers, microphones and recording which he had authored.

In recording, he was a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), and had engineered and/or produced over 275 CDs.

John Eargle is survived by a brother, a sister and six nieces and nephews. Funeral arrangements will be private. Industry colleagues have established a remembrance Web site at Plans are underway for a memorial convocation for friends and associates to be held in the near future, JBL said.