Norman Cherner (1920 - 1987) was born in New York City and both studied and taught at the Department of Fine Arts, Columbia University. From 1947 to 1949 he was a lecturer at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In the 1950s, furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, led by its creative director, George Nelson, worked on the development of lightweight plywood chairs. His Pretzel Chair was designed in Nelson's office in 1952 and produced by Plycraft in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The chair proved to be too fragile and expensive, after which Herman Miller ceased production in 1957. However, since Plycraft had already invested in materials and engineering, George Nelson advised the company to have Norman Cherner design a more robust and affordable chair. The result was the now iconic Cherner Chair. In 1999, Cherner's sons, Benjamin and Thomas, founded the Cherner Chair Company and started producing again many of their father's designs.