Well-known Cleveland antiques expert and ideastream board member Ralph Kovel has died. Ideastream's Bill Rice has this remembrance.
Ralph Kovel was a successful businessman, most recently as President and CEO of U.S. Brands, a distribution company based in Beachwood. He was also a former Vice President of Sara Lea Coffee and Tea.
But Kovel's lifelong passion was antiques. Together with his wife Terry, he authored a multitude of antiques buying and collecting guides dating back to the 1960s, as well as articles for major magazines and a weekly syndicated column that is still published today. He also produced programs on antiques for public television, winning numerous awards for his work. The first - the ten-part "Know Your Antiques" - was produced by ideastream's WVIZ in 1969. Kovel was also a regular on WVIZ's annual auction, and joined the station's board of trustees in 1994. He died Thursday at Euclid General Hospital.