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Robert Klein, 85, War Veteran, Industrial Engineer, Philanthropist

March 4, 2010
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Robert Klein

Robert Klein, 85, an industrial engineer and philanthropist, died Feb. 6. He was a native of Philadelphia.

Klein graduated from Penn State University, where he was captain of the golf team, and in later years, president of the Alumni Association. He was presented with numerous awards, including Alumni Fellow, Distinguished Alumnus (the highest honor given to alumni), and Volunteer of the Year, an honor that he shared with his wife, Judy Auritt Klein.

He began his career as an industrial engineer at Caloric Corporation, the family business that developed the first gas stoves. He advanced to president, chairman and CEO before leaving to run Alliance Wall Corporation, the company that introduced the first dry-erase white boards. Under Klein's leadership, the company expanded internationally.

A major philanthropist, along with his wife, Klein believed in furthering higher education, in addition to medical services and research, serving on the boards of Albert Einstein Medical Center, Muhlenberg College and Penn State's Smeal College of Business.

He was a veteran of World War II, where he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and earned three Purple Hearts.

In addition to his wife, Klein is survived by daughters Sally Klein-Katz and Anne Klein-Farber; son Bill Klein; sister Judy Franken; and seven grandchildren.

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