OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Morton Hyatt, who was president of the family owned Baltimore-based Komar Co., died today.
Hyatt operated the adult distributor that served retailers with magazines, movies, toys and lingerie before closing in January. At the time, family members said Hyatt was forced to retire due to medical reasons and that the business would cease operations.
Hyatt, who received XBIZ’s Industry Pioneer Award in 2014, partnered with Sam Boltansky in 1985 to acquire the Komar Co.
Hyatt gained full ownership of the company after buying out Boltansky's interest in 2000.
In 2014, Hyatt told XBIZ that his career was in the adult biz was one of “adventure.”
“Adventurous in the sense of constant changing products, innovations and competitors,” he said.
In the interview with XBIZ, Hyatt characterized his company that supplied store owners around the world with toys and novelties as having “an international flavor.”
“We do business around the world,” he said. “I cannot thank my suppliers and customers enough for the confidence they have placed in Komar.”
The distributor grew substantially through the years. After growing out of its first two buildings in 1990, Komar Co. moved to its 100,000-square-foot warehouse facility on the north side of Baltimore, where his daughters, Helen and Adrianne, and son-in-law, Mark Foreman, played important roles in company decision-making.
In its decades of distributing adult entertainment goods, Komar Co. was revered for its role in the industry’s fight for free speech. Boltansky, who died in 2002, was considered a trailblazer in battling obscenity.
In 1972 Boltansky was acquitted of federal obscenity charges. U.S. District Judge R. Dorsey Watkins ruled that the 18 magazines Komar Co. distributed — including such titles as Party Pair, Double Pleasure, Wild'n'Sassy, Gay Mood and Up Tight — weren’t constitutionally obscene under the Supreme Court's interpretation of the First Amendment.
Details of Hyatt's death, including his age, were not immediately revealed at post time.
Services for Hyatt will be held on Monday at 11 a.m. at Interment Beth Tfiloh Cemetery, 5800 Windsor Mill Rd.in Owings Mill, Md. 21117. Shiva will last through Thursday evening.
Contributions in his memory may be sent to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, Calif. 90266.