Furniture designer Charles Pollock dies in NY fire

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This April 23, 2001 photo provided by Knoll, Inc. shows the Pollock Executive Chair. Charles Pollock, designer of the famous chair that became ubiquitous in offices in the mid-20th century, has died in a fire at his New York City home on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. He was 83. AP Photo/Knoll, Inc.

NEW YORK – Furniture designer Charles Pollock, who created a chair that became ubiquitous in offices in the mid-20th century and is still in production, died Tuesday in a fire at his home.

Pollock, who was 83, was pronounced dead in his Queens home, and the cause of the fire was under investigation, police said.

Pollock grew up in the Detroit area and graduated from high school there. He moved to New York to study at the School of Art and Design at the Pratt Institute.

He introduced his Pollock Executive Chair in 1963 for the Knoll company. The chair, set on rolling wheels, was visually distinctive with tufted upholstery and an aluminum band around its edges. Knoll started manufacturing the chair in 1965 and continues to this day. At the time, the chair far outstripped the production of any other piece, a Knoll Inc. spokesman said.

But in the decades that followed that achievement, Pollock largely moved away from furniture design.

He returned to it recently. After being sought out by Jerry Helling of Bernhardt Design, Pollock created a lounge chair that was introduced last year.

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