Peter Gold dies at 85; former head of Price-Pfister Inc.

Peter S. Gold, former president and chief executive officer of Price-Pfister Inc., one of the nation’s largest plumbing fixture manufacturers, has died. He was 85.

Gold died Saturday after a long illness at his home in Westwood, said his daughter-in-law, Vicki Gold.

A former shower door salesman, Gold began working as a salesman at Price-Pfister in 1956 and rose through the ranks to become president in 1973.

Gold, along with Sydney Irmas and David P. Rousso, purchased the company in 1983 from an investment banking firm that had bought Norris Industries of Long Beach, Price-Pfister’s parent company. The three men took the company public in 1987, with Gold continuing to serve as president and chief executive officer.

By then, Price-Pfister’s sales reportedly had more than doubled since 1983, to more than $100 million. To gain ground in the East, the company launched a national television advertising campaign that addressed its name recognition problem. The slogan: “The pfabulous pfaucet with the pfunny name.”

Price Pfister was owned by Black & Decker when Gold retired from the company as chairman and chief executive officer in 1990.

He later served on the board of directors of Home Depot.

He is a former chairman of the board of trustees at Pitzer College, where he and his wife, Gloria, endowed the Professor’s Chair and where the student center is named after them. They also funded a portion of the college’s new Residential Life Project and provide a full scholarship every year.

Gold also served as a member of the board of trustees of the City of Hope and was a member of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, where the religious school is named after him and his wife.

Born Aug. 8, 1924, in Omaha, Neb., Gold attended USC before joining the Army during World War II. He received a law degree from Southwestern University School of Law in 1949 but never practiced law.

In addition to his wife of 63 years, Gold is survived by his children, Daniel Gold and Melinda Wiltsie; and three grandchildren.

A memorial service will be private.