Kordek designed his final arcade machine in 2003, based on the National Lampoon's Family Vacation films, after having spent a life crafting machines for Genco, Bally, and Williams. He started his auspicious career in 1948 with a two-flipper redesign of the pinball machine, an improvement over the previous year's six-flipper design (pioneered by Chicago's D. Gottlieb & Company). From there, Kordek went on to craft tables at Bally and Williams, such as Contact, Pokerino, and Grand-Prix.
"Pinball!" author Roger Sharpe described Kordek's impact on the world of pinball as, "comparable to D. W. Griffith moving from silent films through talkies and color and CinemaScope and 3-D with computer-generated graphics."
Kordek is survived by his daughter Catherine; by another daughter, Donna Kordek-Logazino; two sons, Frank and Richard; a sister, Florence Wozny; two brothers, Joseph and Frank; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren, according to the NYT report.
[Pinball image via Shutterstock]