Pinball Hero Passes

Steve Kordek, pinball wizard, passes away aged 100

Steve Kordek, the father of modern days pinball machines, has died. Kordek passed away on February 19 in Park Ridge, Illinois, aged 100.

In 1948, Kordek thought up the idea of adding two flippers placed at the bottom of the table, along with the engineering needed to make it viable. He also came up with the concept of drop targets and multi-ball play. All simple ideas, but ones the rest of the world ran with for 60+ years since.

I just figured two flippers on a game was enough,” Kordek told the Chicago Tribune in a July 2009 interview. “I was taught to be very conservative to hold down costs. There was no way I would put six flippers on a game when I could get away with two.

In that same interview, Kordek commented “I had more fun in this business than anyone could believe.

Kordek’s worked in the industry for numerous decades, only choosing to retire after 63 years of hard graft. In that time, he aided in the creation of well over 100 different pinball games. However, even after retirement, he was still a famous face in the industry, showing up at many expos over the course of the 00’s.

He sure played a mean pinball. RIP.