BLOOMINGDALE, ILL. — Al Corwin, former president of Grohe and a pitcher on the 1951 pennant-winning New York Giants, died Oct. 23 after a long battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Pat, their two children and their grandchildren.
Corwin led Grohe from 1978 until his retirement as chairman in 1996. Bob Atkins, current president of Grohe, said Corwin will be remembered as a visionary who built Grohe in the U.S. market by presenting a unique product line, positioning it and promoting it with relentless enthusiasm.
“Most importantly,” Atkins said, “Al will be remembered as a man who was able to put together a winning team, who was able to build and maintain the respect and loyalty of all who had the unique privilege of knowing and working with him.”
Before joining the plumbing industry, Corwin spent 13 years as a professional baseball player, five of them with the New York Giants. Corwin pitched for the 1951 Giants, who won 16 straight games and 37 of their last 44, culminating in a three-game playoff series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Giants won the pennant on Bobby Thomson’s ninth-inning home run, “the shot heard ‘round the world.”
After working for Moen as a regional salesman, Corwin launched Grohe’s fledging U.S. operation in 1978. During his tenure with Grohe, he introduced Ladylux, the first pull-out spray kitchen faucet, and he helped to pioneer the upscale, decorative segment of the kitchen-and-bath market.