Joel Moskowitz, 75, a manufacturer whose lightweight ceramic inserts for body armor protected tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, died March 15 in Orange County, Calif., of complications from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, his wife, Ann said.

Mr. Moskowitz, a ceramic engineer, turned a $5,000 nest egg into a company that sold for $860 million in 2012. Ceradyne Inc., developing ultra-light, ultra-hard materials, landed government contracts to manufacture components of missile nosecones and nuclear warheads. It developed similar materials for diesel engine parts, brackets for translucent orthodontic braces, molds for solar cells, and other products.

- L.A. Times