Patrick H. Norton, 86, a former chairman of the furniture maker La-Z-Boy, died Thursday in Greensboro, N.C.

La-Z-Boy Inc., of Monroe, La., said that its chairman emeritus was a furniture-industry pioneer and leader for more than a half-century.

It said that Mr. Norton became vice president of sales and a member of the board of Baumritter/Ethan Allen after military service during World War II.

He joined La-Z-Boy in 1981 and became board chairman about 16 years later.

He was credited with building the company's brand and was inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame in 1995.

- AP