Zsolt Rumy, Zoltek Founder And Carbon Fiber Pioneer, Passes Away At 81

ST. LOUIS — February 14, 2024 — It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Zsolt Rumy, Zoltek’s visionary founder, long-time CEO and esteemed board member. Zsolt passed away at his Jupiter Hills, Fla., home in the early hours of February 3, 2024. He was 81.

Zsolt was a pioneer in the carbon fiber industry, reshaping the landscape through his innovation, intellect, and tireless dedication. He entered a carbon fiber industry in 1988 that was focused on high-end aerospace applications, and famously created the first “low-cost industrial grade carbon fiber” to compete with everyday building materials.

His ability to execute on his vision to commercialize carbon fiber led to breakthrough applications in wind energy, aircraft brakes, automotive, and consumer electronics. After the acquisition of two acrylic textile plants, Magyar Viscosa in Hungary and later Cydsa in Mexico, he laid the foundation for Zoltek to become a global leader in carbon fiber and oxidized fiber, and influenced and inspired countless professionals in the composites industry.

In addition to his significant contributions to the carbon fiber industry, Zsolt will be remembered as a true character, whose colorful personality and direct approach left an impact on everyone he encountered — from the boardroom to the golf course. For those who knew him well, he will be remembered for his kindness, mentorship, and enthusiasm for education and global experiences. This is exemplified by the exchange program Zsolt established between the University of Minnesota and Budapest University of Technology & Economics, which promotes cross-cultural experiences for American and Hungarian science and engineering students each year. After his generous gift, Zsolt commented: “What I learned over time, is that success comes as much from working relationships with people from all walks of life and with people from all over the world.”

The entire Zoltek family mourns the loss of a remarkable leader, mentor, and friend. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Zsolt’s family and closest friends during this difficult time.

Zsolt’s ashes will be scattered in Hungary on the Rozsadomb (Rose Hill).

Zsolt was also known to be charitable and donated to the History Museum, the Garden, STL Zoo, the Art Museum, Tower Grove Park, Ronald McDonald House, St. Luke’s Hospital, and FOCUS Marines Foundation. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of these organizations or a charity of choice.

Posted: February 15, 2024

Source: Zoltek