Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

September 21, 2002

Peter Stroh, 74, a major Detroit city booster who helped his family's brewery company become a national player before its brands were sold, died Tuesday of brain cancer.

Mr. Stroh was the sixth family member to head Stroh Brewery Co., which his great-grandfather, Bernhard Stroh, founded in 1850 in Detroit.

The company became one of the nation's largest breweries under Mr. Stroh. Using ads featuring Alex the Dog to promote its distinct, "fire-brewed" taste, Stroh's attained minor cult status in several areas far from Detroit, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The Stroh family put much of its profits back into Detroit, spending $150 million during the past 20 years on redevelopment projects. Peter Stroh was involved with the Greater Detroit American Heritage River project to improve the Detroit River and its islands.

In the early 1980s, Stroh's became the nation's third-largest brewer after buying F&M Schaefer Brewing Co. and Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. But soon after it bought Schlitz, the company started losing ground, and closed its Detroit brewery in 1985.

In 1999, two years after Mr. Stroh stepped down as chairman, Stroh Brewery sold its brands to Miller Brewing Co. and Pabst Brewing Co.

Robert Morrison, 92, the founder of Molded Fiber Glass, which introduced reinforced plastics to the auto industry, died Monday at his home in Ashtabula, Ohio, after a long illness.

MFG was founded in 1948 and became nationally known in the early 1950s, when Mr. Morrison persuaded General Motors to use reinforced plastic in automobiles.

In 1954, the Chevrolet Corvette became the first production automobile with a fiberglass-reinforced plastic body.

Mr. Morrison lectured and wrote books and newspaper columns. He remained active in business until ill health interrupted his regular trips to his office a few years ago.

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