In Memory of Dr. Henry M. Rothberg, Founder, LATICRETE International, Inc.

Dr. Henry M. Rothberg

Longtime ceramic tile and stone industries innovator, Henry M. Rothberg, born June 1, 1922 in Derby, Connecticut, passed away March 17, 2014 in Manalapan, Florida.

He attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, where he received a BS degree in Chemical Engineering and later received an honorary Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. In addition, he was a graduate of the Executive Education program at Harvard Business School.

In 1946, he married Lillian Rosenstock of New Haven, Connecticut, returning with his bride to make their home in South Carolina. Over the next decade he, and his 2 brothers, built a successful floor covering and furniture business.

In 1956, he moved his family back to Connecticut to be near one of the leading firms in synthetic rubber manufacturing, the US Rubber Company (Uniroyal) of Naugatuck. Working closely with them, he developed the first commercially accepted, latex modified adhesives for thin installations of ceramic tile and stone, branded LATICRETE®.

By combining his knowledge of chemical engineering with his firsthand experience in floor covering, Rothberg is widely considered to be the pioneer of polymer thin set adhesive technology for ceramic tile and stone.

With his wife Lillian as business partner, Product Development Company was founded by him to turn the fervent vision of a radical installation method into the reality of a global industry standard.

He was recognized by the ceramic tile industry with numerous awards, including the Carl V. Cesery Award from the Tile Contractors’ Association of America (TCAA), the Joe A. Tarver Cornerstone Award from the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and induction into the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA) Hall of Fame.

The personal dream and the company, which later became known as Laticrete International, Inc., eventually grew to over 1,500 employees in 35 manufacturing locations supplying products to construction projects in over 112 countries.

Despite global recognition and success, the greatest gratification for him and his wife was the involvement of second and third generation family members in the business. He was mentor to many, including his two sons who presently own and operate Laticrete International.

During his lifetime he was known for his love and knowledge of fresh fruit and wherever he lived he always planted fruit trees for the next generation to enjoy.

He is survived by his wife, Lillian; his seven children, Irene Molinari, Henry B. Rothberg, David Rothberg, Deborah Rothberg, Celia Meadow, Jonathan Rothberg, Michael Rothberg; nineteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He is remembered as a good friend to all, and beloved husband, father and patriarch.

Funeral services were held at Congregation B’nai Jacob, 75 Rimmon Road, Woodbridge, CT on Wednesday, March 19 at one o’clock, with internment services following at B’nai Jacob Memorial Park, 200 Wintergreen Avenue, New Haven.

Contributions, in lieu of flowers, may be made in memory of Dr. Rothberg to the University of South Carolina, Department of Chemical Engineering or the American Friends of Technion:

The University of South Carolina Department of Chemical Engineering
301 Main Street - Columbia, SC 29208
Phone: 803.777.4181 Fax: 803.777.8265

The American Technion Society (ATS)
55 East 59th Street New York, NY 10022
Tel: 212-407-6300 Fax: 212-753-2925

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Greg Fenech      4   4/17/2014 3:53:35 PM
My condolences to David, Henry Jr and the Rothberg family on the passing of Dr. Rothberg. Though I know this is a sorrow time, we need to reflect on the incredible contributions Dr. Rothberg gave to the world. For me, as with Gene Kaiser, bereaving him is a small price to pay for knowing him. Richard Puz said it best: " “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal” Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Regards, Greg Fenech

Ingo F. Pangels y Susana      4   4/17/2014 8:02:02 AM
Lieber David ,liebe Familie Rothberg. Ich habe gestern vom Tod Deines Vaters gehört und ich muss Dir gestehen, dass Susana und ich sehr beeindruckt von der Nachricht waren und wir es ausserordentlich bedauern. Henry gehörte zu den grossen Männern der Nachkriegszeit die grosse Dinge bewegten und eine beispiellose Industrie auf Weltniveau brachten. Gerne erinnere ich mich an die Zeit mit Deinem Vater + mit meinem Vater Dr. Richard Pangels in Lübeck Germany bei Villeroy&Boch und mit Euch in USA und in Italien. Unser aufrichtiges Beileid an Deine Mutter und den Rest der Familie sowie an alle Mitarbeiter der LATICRETE - Gruppe weltweit. Dein Freund Ingo F. Pangels + Susana Tenerife / Canary Islands - Spain

Emmanuel Rodriguez / Codesh, Honduras.      4   4/17/2014 7:49:29 AM
My sincere condolence, we had the honor of meeting Dr. Rothberg. May he rest in peace. God bless his family.

Harald Jelinek      4   4/17/2014 3:20:13 AM
Dear David, dear Henry, dear family Rothberg, I would like to express my sincere condolences on the recent passing of your father. My thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time. Although I didn´t know him personally I did come to realize his great kindness and compassion towards those less fortunate than him. I Understood that he was very highly respected throughout this community and profession, and his great works changed the lives of many. I have some idea of what you and your family are going through and I realize that no words of comfort are quite enough to repalce the loss. Please pass my deepest sympathies on to your mother, and brother, and to the whole family. Yours in sympathy, Harald Jelinek

Tim Maiuri      4   4/17/2014 12:08:51 AM
I am very saddened to hear the news about Dr. Rothberg's passing away. While this is a very sad time time for his family and the tile and stone industry, we cannot help but reflect on his awesome legacy and rejoice in the many positive contributions he personally made in people's lives. Dr. Rothberg life clearly demonstrated his strong passion in what he knew would re-engineer the tile industry from both the installation and design standpoint. It is an honor to have known Dr. Rothberg and to see his family continue to grow his company into a world class organization. We extend our prayers and deepest sympathy to the Henry M Rothberg Family. May he rest peacefully. Sincerely, Tim & Margaret Maiuri

Ben Zakarya      4   4/16/2014 10:45:26 PM
Though Dr. Henry M. Rothberg, is no longer with us, but his vision and accomplishments are alive which last generations (and all over the globe). MAY HE REST IN PEACE. With our sincere condolences to all members of the family.

Donald Rober      4   4/16/2014 9:00:02 PM
It is with great sadness that I learned about the passing of Henry M Rothberg. My father was one of the first customers of Dr Rothberg, going back to his days at Uniroyal. He was a true innovator, devoted to education, and possessed a deep commitment to his products and customers. His family and the entire tile industry will miss him greatly.

Thomas J McCarthy      4   4/16/2014 2:11:55 PM
My sincere condolences go out to the Rothberg family at this time of Greif. I have always been amazed at the Laticrete Companies and the policy's put into place originally by Dr. Rothberg the visionary. It is one of the only companies that puts the customer first,. Thank You Dr. Rotherberg and may you rest in peace.

Damien Quinn      4   4/16/2014 1:42:48 PM
Our most heartfelt and deepest condolences at this sad time. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, and the entire Laticrete team.

Stephan Liozu      4   4/16/2014 1:03:31 PM
My condolences to the Rothberg and the Laticrete families. The legacy Dr. Rothberg leaves behing speaks volume about his forward-thinking, innovativeness, and long term approach to value and quality. The industry will miss him as a pioneer and entrepreneur. Warm regards. Stephan

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