Stefan Kudelski

Stefan Kudelski, inventor of the first portable professional sound recorder, died on Saturday. He was 84.

Mr. Kudelski created the Nagra in 1951, and the invention was used by the radio, movie and television industries, the Swiss-based Kudelski Group said in a statement.

He began his career by selling the device to Radio Luxembourg, Italy's RAI and the British Broadcasting Corp., as well as ABC, NBC and CBS, according to the Nagra Audio website.

"Stefan Kudelski was one of those personalities who contributed to the international reputation of Switzerland," the group's vice chairman, Claude Smadja, said.

"Anyone who knew him could only be impressed by his sharpness, his incredible culture, his curiosity and his permanent sense of humor, he added."

The Kudelski Group spun the Nagra audio unit off in January 2012 and now focuses on technology for digital television.

It also owns a unit that makes access systems for parking lots and ski resorts.

Mr. Kudelski was born in Warsaw on Feb. 27, 1929, and his family fled Poland in 1939 as World War II started.

The Kudelskis fled to Hungary and France before arriving in Switzerland in 1943.

Stefan Kudelski's son Andre is chairman and chief executive of Kudelski Group, having taken over from his father in 1991.

Marguerite Kudelski, the daughter of the inventor, is also on the company's board.

Published in The Record/Herald News on Jan. 30, 2013