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George A. Stephen
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    (1921-February 11, 1993)
    Born in Palatine, Illinois
    Worker at Chicago's Weber Brothers Metal Works, molding spheres to make lake buoys
    Invented the Weber kettle grill (1952)
    Bought the company out in 1958 and renamed it the Weber-Stephen Products Co., selling exclusively kettle grills
    Died of cancer in Kildeer, Illinois at age 71
    He got the job at Weber Brothers because his father was plant manager.
    He had 12 children.
    Eleven of his 12 kids (and two of his grandkids) work for Weber (nepotism at BOTH ends).
    He guarded his privacy to the point of Howard Hughes public aversion (sans the wacky behavior).
    As a lover of barbecue cooking he was tired of open-air grills, with its uneven cooking and heavy smoke, and decided to do something about it.
    His idea was simple: cut a lake buoy sphere in half, put grating inside, poke some holes in it, stick some legs and handles on it, and presto, - the Weber kettle grill was born.
    When he started selling his grills in 1952, the idea 'caught fire' immediately and Weber Brothers formed a separate barbecue division in the factory.
    By the time he bought the Weber brothers out, he was a self-made millionaire and the brothers did well financially themselves.
    He liked collecting eclectic memorabilia and gag gifts and one of his favorite plaques that hangs in the corporate office reads, 'God is Watching, So Give Him a Good Show.'
    In 2000, his company came out with a bright yellow, limited edition, 10th anniversary 'Simpsons' kettle grill.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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