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HLAVIN, WILLIAM S.

HLAVIN, WILLIAM S. (29 Jan. 1910 - 14 April 1997), electrical engineer and a pioneer in local radio and television, was born in Cleveland to Antoinette "Nettie" Charvat and Stephan Hlavin, both originally from Bohemia. Hlavin worked his way through FENN COLLEGE during the Depression, graduating B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1933. Upon graduation he worked for Acme Electric and Mfg., initially as design engineer on high voltage equipment, then as research and development engineer. After Acme moved its main production to New York in 1937, Hlavin started his own company, Transformer Engineering Corporation (TRENCO), which provided equipment for the Army Air Corps during WORLD WAR II. Hlavin remained president of TRENCO until he sold the company in the early 1980s. In 1947, Hlavin and a group of business partners headed by CLEVELAND RECORDING CO. president and fellow Czech, FREDERICK C. WOLF, formed Civic Broadcasters, Inc., which obtained a license from the Federal Communications Commission to establish Cleveland's eighth AM radio station (see RADIO). WDOK-AM went on the air May 1, 1950; WDOK-FM made its first broadcast in October 1954. Both stations were sold in 1962 to Transcontinent Television Corp. of New York. In 1952, Hlavin and his partners had formed Tri-State Television, Inc., which operated television station WIN-T in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Hlavin was also an inventor who held 17 patents for products including demagnetizers and submersible pumps. He was a lover of music and an accomplished trombonist who played with the Railmen's Express Band and the Tony Cabit Band. Hlavin was closely involved with Cleveland's Czechoslovakian community, and was a 68-year member of SOKOL GREATER CLEVELAND and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In 1936, Hlavin married Anne Kordula, who died in 1983. The couple had two sons: William J. and Wayne A. Mr. Hlavin died at his home of cancer, and is buried in Maple Shade Cemetery in Independence, Ohio.

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