R.I.P. Grado Laboratories Founder Joseph Grado

R.I.P. Grado Laboratories Founder Joseph Grado
Joseph Grado, a pioneering audio engineer who founded the company Grado Laboratories, has died. He was 90.

The company is based in Brooklyn, but Grado was in South Carolina at the time of his death. He died in his sleep this past Friday (February 6).

Grado started his company way back in 1953. The founder and namesake was a watchmaker at the time, and he then switched to making phono cartridges and invented the first stereo moving coil phono cartridge. The company also made speakers, turntables and tonearms.

They were big cartridge producers, but they eventually went into decline. The company experienced a resurgence in the '90s after Joseph's nephew John Grado bought the company and shifted the company focus to audiophile headphones, which it is still known for today.

Below, read a statement from the company about the founder's passing.

It is with a heavy heart for the Grado family to say that Joseph Grado, founder of Grado Labs and inventor of the stereo moving coil phono cartridge, passed away this morning at the age of 90. In the early 1950s, Joseph began using the skills he gained as a master watchmaker to start crafting phono cartridges on his kitchen table in Brooklyn, New York. He went on to clear out the Grado family fruit store around the corner and in 1953, Grado Laboratories was born.

Joseph guided Grado until 1990 when he passed the torch to his nephew, John Grado, and our headphone era began. For the past two decades, he enjoyed living in South Carolina building and tinkering with anything to do with audio. The Grado family holds Uncle Joe in the highest regard, and without him, not only would we still be working in a fruit store, but we would have never started making headphones.