Anthony & Sylvan Pools announced that one of its founders, Herman Silverman, died at his home in Middletown, Pa., on Wednesday, May 31 at the age of 97.

Silverman’s first foray into swimming pool building was in his own backyard. After hearing about his backyard pool – something only the wealthy enjoyed – people started requesting he build one in theirs, including Broadway producer Oscar Hammerstein. In 1946, Silverman founded Sylvan Pools and began his journey into what is today, Anthony & Sylvan Pools.

“Herman was a true American success story. He lost his father at a young age, lived through The Depression, served in the military and started a thriving business,” says Mark Koide, CEO of Anthony & Sylvan Pools. “Seventy-one years later, this company still lives by his core value: If the brand stands for quality, everything else will be simple. We will all remember Herman fondly.”

Though Silverman had not been with the company for a number of years, he still had strong relationships with many of its executives.

“Herman loved this company and would continue to provide insight to us,” says Tom Casey, vice president of sales at Anthony & Sylvan Pools. “Even though I never had the pleasure to work for the company while Herman was the owner, he and I became close, and I always valued his insight, perspective and wit. I will truly miss him.”