Bernie Gordon, Cofounder of Wolf-Gordon, Dies at 98

Bernie Gordon, an industry innovator and cofounder of legacy brand Wolf-Gordon, recently passed away at 98 years old. “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Bernie, and are grateful for the legacy he left behind,” shares Rick Wolf, president and CEO of the company.

Always seeking out fresh ways to enliven interiors, Gordon was at the forefront of the movement to use fabric-backed vinyl as a wallcovering, anticipating the commercial market need for high performance finishes. Leading the brand’s product design and development until his retirement in 1991, Gordon then passed the torch to his son, David, who later became executive vice president alongside Wolf in his respective role. Together, David Gordon and Wolf catalyzed a period of national growth with new products and brand designs.

Bernie Gordon of Wolf-Gordon with his family.
Bernie Gordon, cofounder of Wolf-Gordon, with his family.

But Wolf-Gordon’s legacy began to take shape decades earlier. Soon after World War II, Gordon joined Gilford, Inc. where he met Mel Wolf. The duo hatched the idea for their own company, which they founded in 1967 in New York City with the help of salesmen Tony Prota and Frank Carr. The brand initially distributed vibrantly colored and textured vinyl wallcovering and soon diversified with textile, paper and cork wallcovering across the U.S.

Interviewed in Wolf-Gordon’s 2017 publication, Sample Book: 50 Years of Interior Finishes, Gordon stated, “I’m proud of what we did when we were running the place, and I’m proud of the natural evolution that has taken place at the company since then. In order to stay in business, you have to keep coming up with new things, and that’s why Wolf-Gordon now commits so many resources to design.” 

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