William Perlik joined the William Steinway Diary Project after his retirement, using his law experience to research the numerous legal issues surfacing in William’s life. Perlik also identified the location and history of many of the places William visited in France and England in August of 1880.
During the 1880s, Herbert Van Dyke sued Steinway & Sons for alleged non-payment of services performed in connection with the piano awards given at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. William chronicled the suit’s progress over the course of its five year duration and Van Dyke’s eventual loss. Perlik reported on the arrest of Henry S. De Bevoise, mayor of Long Island City, for misappropriation or theft; and on the disappearance of William McBride, Water Commissioner of Long Island City, whose many unpaid debts left Steinway & Sons to foreclose on a number of his properties in Steinway Village.
Perlik grew up in the Pittsburgh area. He served in the European Theatre during World War II, and graduated from Oberlin College, OH with a degree in history. After graduating in 1951 from Yale Law School, where he was Executive Editor of the Law Journal, he served as law clerk to Judge David L. Bazelon in the District of Columbia. Perlik was a founding member of Wilmer Cutler & Pickering. Having served on the Fairfax County School Board, he was elected chairman for one year, and then went on to become president of the Virginia School Boards Association. Perlik also served on the Board of Trustees of Oberlin College and was its chairman from 1993–1999. He was the recipient of a Washington Star award for community service. Perlik lived with his wife Annabel in McLean, VA, and had two children and one grandson. He died in 2006.