Publicist Scott Gorenstein says Steinberg died Dec. 29 at his home in Brattleboro, Vermont.
A Chicago native, Steinberg graduated from the University of Chicago and served in the Air Corps before beginning his career in the music business.
After starting up Mercury Records and serving at its helm for several years, he became chairman and CEO of Polygram Records, where he remained for more than 30 years.
He later taught courses on the music business at Columbia College of the Arts in Chicago and was a consultant to numerous digital music enterprises, including MusicMaker.
He is survived by his wife, Dominique Moyse, three children, four grandchildren and two sisters.