Designer, manufacturer, and importer of unique modern lighting fixtures George Kovacs died June 22, 2007, at age 80. One of the most recognizable names in the lighting industry, Kovacs made many popular lamps and fixtures and marketed the products of other notable designers, among them Karim Rashid, Harry Allen, Ingo Maurer, Robert Sonneman, and Alecia Wesner. In the early 1970s, Kovacs introduced the first American-made halogen torchiere to the market, bringing a long-standing European lamping type to the United States. Kovacs operated several stores in Manhattan. In 2000, he retired and sold the rights to his brand name to the Corona, California-based Minka Group. Kovacs was born in Vienna on Dec. 23, 1926.