Robert Sidney Thanhauser Jr., the former majority owner and chief executive officer of Fidelipac, a leading manufacturer of four-track cartridges, died on Sunday at his Main Street, East Hampton, home. He was 71. The cause was lung cancer, his family said.
Mr. Thanhauser spent more than 40 summers on the East End. He met his wife, the former Nula Murphy, in Quiogue in 1977, and they moved to East Hampton full-time in 2005. He was a member of the Devon Yacht Club, where he played tennis, bridge, and was on the board of directors for many years. His family said his other pastimes were fishing and investing.
Mr. Thanhauser, who was called Roger, was born on March 7, 1941, in Philadelphia to Robert Thanhauser and the former Barbara Levy. He grew up in Aubury Park, a Philadelphia suburb, and attended the Miquon School and Germantown Friends School, where he played football and was captain of the baseball team, and graduated in 1959.
After studying for two and a half years at the University of Chicago, he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves. He went on to earn an undergraduate degree in philosophy at the New School and a master’s of business administration from Columbia University.
Mr. Thanhauser worked on Wall Street in the late 1960s and 1970s, first as a technology research analyst at W. E. Hutton and then at C.E. Unterberg, Towbin, a boutique investment bank specializing in technology public offerings.
In 1979, after moving back to Philadelphia, he took over Fidelipac, which he owned until the mid-1990s. Under his leadership, Fidelipac introduced the first digital cartridge machine and the first digital four-track mixer in the United States.
In Philadelphia, Mr. Thanhauser was president of the local chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, president of the Society Hill Civic Association, and a member of the Society Hill Towers board of directors. Education was important to him, and he served on the boards of the Miquon School and the Crossroads School as well as the head advisory committee of the St. Peter’s School.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Thanhauser is survived by three daughters, Sarah David of New York City, Kaitlin Flynn of Greenwich, Conn., and Clare Thanhauser of Marietta, Ga. His brother David Thanhauser of Belfast, Me., also survives. Another brother, Sardar Thanhauser, died before him.
Mr. Thanhauser had asked that any donations in his memory be sent to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach 11978.