TRIESTE, Italy—Ernesto Illy, who was chairman of Illycaffe from 1963 to 2004, has died. He was 82 years old.
The son of the company’s founder, Francesco Illy, a trained chemist, was credited with helping to boost the popularity of espresso coffee worldwide, along with the prestige of the Illy brand of coffee. As Illycaffe’s chairman, he directed several company efforts to enhance the quality of its coffee, including a laboratory that analyzed coffee beans with sophisticated scientific equipment, according to the New York Times. Also under his direction, Illycaffe entered the North American market in 1975.
A company spokesperson said the Illy family did not want to disclose the cause of death.