Sol Zwerling, a 40-year veteran of the carpet and rug industry, died Sept. 25 from complications following heart surgery. He was 73.

Zwerling, a native of Chicago, graduated from the University of Illinois. He began his floor covering career as buyer for Polk Bros., a venerable Midwest retailer.

He moved to the supply side of the business when he joined Columbus Mills in the 1960s. He held key sales and marketing posts with Majestic Carpet, American Carpet Mills, Trend Mills and Aladdin Carpet Mills.

Before his retirement, he was vice president of sales and marketing for Oriental Weavers USA.

During the 1960s and 1970s, he adapted many of the formal business school principals to the emerging tufted broadloom carpet industry. He played a key role in the development of new yarn systems in the 1970s.

As export manager of Trend Carpets, he was one of the first to bring American products to worldwide markets. He developed export systems that are still in use today.

For several years, he lived in Belgian and helped establish Trend's Belgian manufacturing facilities. Trend was one of the first American carpet mills to manufacture in Europe.

He also served as vice president of sales and marketing for Aladdin Mills, and as vice president of World Carpet's Midwest sales.

During his time in the international marketing community, one of his customers was a young man named Mohamed Farid, When Farid launched the Oriental Weavers USA manufacturing facility in 1994, he asked Zwerling to come out of semi-retirement in California.

Zwerling became vice president of sales and marketing for OWA at the new Dalton, Ga., manufacturing facility, and guided the company through three years of growth with a product line that profoundly changed the market for area rugs.

Zwerling retired from Oriental Weavers in 1997 and returned to his home in Carlsbad, Calif., where he remained active in numerous charitable services.

He went to the Czech Republic with the International Service Corp. and helped develop the rug manufacturing industry in that country. He was also a volunteer for the Women's division of the Organization for Rehabilitation Training in Carlsbad. Active in civic affairs, he served on the county Grand Jury for a year.

Zwerling served two tours of combat duty during the Korean War and received a Purple Heart.

Zwerling is survived by his wife, Sydney; three childen, Ross, Ian and Dana Zwerling Howard; five grandchildren; two sisters and two brothers. His brother Harry, is also a floor covering industry executive.

Memorial donations may be made to the Organization for Rehabilitation Training (ORT), 1005 Lands Court, Carlbad, CA 92009. Sydney Zwerling can be contacted at 7528 Jerez Court, #8, Carlsbad, CA 92008.