Longtime event rental leader John Luft of Hall's Rental Service, Chicago, died Sunday at age 82, according to the company.
Luft joined Hall's in 1932 and rose to the top of the company as the event industry saw enormous change. In an interview with Special Events Magazine in 1990, he noted that the impact of international travel after World War II and the rise of televised celebrations such as the Academy Awards transformed the event industry in the United States.
"For the first time, people in the Midwest could visualize the state of the art with what went on in Washington, New York and Hollywood--which is much different than hearing about it on the radio or reading a review of it a month later," he said. "And they wanted to duplicate what they saw."
Luft received a Gala Award for Lifetime Achievement from Special Events in 1989. His sons Jack and Tom now head Hall's.
Hall's is listed among the "Top 30" event rental companies by Special Events.