Marotta, along with his high school friend Samuel Glazer, developed the brand after consulting with former Westinghouse engineers to design a restaurant-style drip-brewing system.
In 1973, Marotta successfully convinced legendary career Yankee Joe DiMaggio to appear as a spokesman for the brand.
“I rang Joe DiMaggio up on a Saturday morning,” Marotta told NPR in 2005, explaining how he convinced The Yankee Clipper to take the gig. “It was about 11 a.m.; I shall never forget this.
He answered the phone and I told him who I was, and of course, he said, `What's the name of that product?' And I said, ‘Mr. Coffee. You haven't heard of it, Mr. DiMaggio, ‘cause it's brand-new.’ And he said, ‘Well, I have heard of it.’ He said, ‘Yes, I was playing in a golf tournament last week. I won one as a prize.’”
In 1987, Marotta and Glazer sold their company, North American Systems Inc., which manufactured Mr. Coffee machines, for an estimated $182 million.