William C. Martin, an internationally respected leader in the flooring industry whose career spanned five decades, died April 17 due to complications stemming from a heart condition. He was 80 years old.

Born in Southern California in 1927, Martin graduated from the University of Southern California in 1950 and began his lifelong career in the flooring industry as a sales representative for Sloane-Blabon Corp. of Los Angeles, covering territories in Salt Lake City, Denver and Detroit. After the company merged with Congoleum in 1953 he was transferred to the San Francisco territory and one year later was honored as Congoleum’s  “Man of the Year.” He was promoted to district sales manager of the West Coast, then to assistant general sales manager in Kearny, N.J. In 1960 he was named director of marketing for Congoleum.

Martin joined Roberts Consolidated Industries, based in the City of Industry, Calif., in 1964, as general sales manager and later became director of marketing. He was promoted to vp and general manager of the International Division and managing director of each wholly owned subsidiary in England, Holland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. He also established subsidiaries in Sweden, Switzerland, France and Germany as well as joint ventures in Mexico and Brazil. In 1971 domestic marketing was added to his international responsibilities. He and two other employees purchased Roberts from Champion International in 1976 and Martin was elected exec. vp.

In 1982 he opened Martin Industries, Inc. in Los Angeles, a manufacturer’s rep firm for flooring lines. He served as chairman and the business continues with his son William C. Martin III as the president.  In 1989 he joined Johnsonite as vice president, sales and marketing, then retired from that position in 1997, remaining with the company as a valued consultant.

Martin is survived by his wife of 57 years Joanne, who was by his side at the time of death. He is also survived by their daughter Anne Wortmann and her husband John, son William C. Martin III and his wife Teri; as well as three grandchildren, John, Devon and Victoria, and extended family.