J. Gordon Holt (1930 – 2009)

Photo credit: Stereophile

Photo credit: Stereophile

It has been reported that Stereophile founder Gordon Holt has died. Holt was instrumental in developing high end audio journalism and its concomitant lexicon. Along with The Absolute Sound’s founder, Harry Pearson, Holt promoted the missionary work of garage designers into the mainstream of electronics.

The following is the obituary by Stereophile editor, John Atkinson, Holt’s long time collaborator and friend.

July 22, 2009 — It is with immense sadness that I heard of Gordon’s passing, in an announcement from his long-time friend, Bob O’Neiil: “A few minutes after 12 noon mtn time, July 20, 2009, J. Gordon Holt passed away in his home in Boulder, Colorado. A memorial service will be held in a week or two. There will be, of course, martinis and the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams.” According to his son Charles, Gordon had suffered a long fight with COPD/Emphysema and he died in his home with his family around him.

It was in 1962 that Gordon decided to start a magazine devoted to the then-revolutionary concept that the best way to review audio components was to use them for their intended purpose, ie, to listen to them—see his own words on his motives. All of us, not just those of us who keep Stereophile true to Gordon’s vision, but everyone involved in high-end audio, are in his debt.

We will have an appreciation of Gordon’s life and achievements by Larry Archibald, who owned Stereophile from 1982 to 1998, in our October issue. In the meantime, it’s worth reading the tribute to Gordon Ed Dell wrote on the occasion of Stereophile’s 25th anniversary in 1987 and the 35th-anniversary interview conducted by Gordon’s friend Steven Stone.

And, as Charles Holt wrote in the magazine’s on-line forum, you can pay Gordon your respects “by having a good martini and complaining about the weather.”

Cheers, Gordon, and thank you.

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