Date: 15th October, 2013

With David Gottlieb as his father, Alvin Gottlieb was unlikely to stray too far from Pinball. And so it proved right from his formative years, when he spent much time during his childhood alongside his father at the Gottlieb factory.

But Alvin Gottlieb's involvement in the pinball business lasted way beyond his youth. In fact he spent 34 years making Gottlieb pinball machines.

Alvin Gottlieb at his last Pinball Expo appearance in 2009
Alvin Gottlieb at his last Pinball Expo appearance in 2009

Born in 1927, the same year the D. Gottlieb company was incorporated, and the family moved to Chicago to build a coin-operated grip testing machine.

Alvin studied in the engineering department of his father's business, alongside industry legends such as Harry Mabs as he invented the flipper, and game designer Wayne Neyens with whom he worked for two years.

David Gottlieb told him, "Alvin, take care of your people and they will take care of you" - a philosophy that ensured a family atmosphere pervaded the company, and with it, much of the industry including his own pinball company, Alvin G and Co., which he founded in 1991.

Alvin moved to Florida in his later years, and had recently been recuperating at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami following a number of surgical procedures.

He passed away on 14th October, 2013. Alvin is survived by four children, Laura, Daniel, Michael and Joseph, as well as a large number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A service will be held this Friday in Illinois, and a special dedication will be made at this Saturday's Pinball Expo banquet dinner in his honour.

Alvin was inducted into the Pinball Expo Hall of Fame in 2007, and today, as Pinball Expo attendees make their way to the Stern Pinball factory, they will pass by the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park which Alvin was so instrumental in establishing, and which stands as one of the many memorials to a great ambassador for pinball.

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