Lodi, N.J. — Martin Slater, founder of CE distributor Cardinal Electronics, died on Feb. 10. He was 91.
Born in Harlem in 1915, Slater started boxing when he was 14 years old in the Golden Gloves and had more than 20 professional fights before breaking his nose so badly he had to retire. He started Cardinal Electronics in the Bronx in 1946 with his brother Harry, soon after returning from World War II, selling record spindles and crystal radios.
In 1947, on the way home from CES in Chicago, Harry was killed in a plane crash. Slater was devastated at the loss of his brother but continued to build a thriving distribution business selling audio and video tapes, according to Cardinal VP/GM Bill Lyons.
The success of Cardinal was attributed to Slater’s philosophy that good business is built on good relationships, both with suppliers and customers, Lyons said.
Slater retired in 1987 but stayed very active in his retirement.
Slater’s wife Ester died in 2005. He is survived by his daughter Debbie, his son David, current president of Cardinal Electronics, and David’s wife Marla, who is Cardinal’s credit manager. He is also survived by two grandchildren, Matthew and Shari, and two great grandchildren, Zack and Jake.
Donations in Martin’s name can be made to Congregation Sons of Israel, 155 Elliot St., Yonkers, N.Y., 10705.