business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Boston Globe has a piece that makes the following case:

“Sears’s bankruptcy declaration in October prompted a wave of media coverage focusing on Sears’s mid-20th-century glory days and its roots in a mail-order watch business operated by Richard W. Sears with the help of watch repairer Alvah C. Roebuck. Often overlooked in those nostalgic chronicles was the man who bore much of the responsibility for building the company into a paragon of U.S. retailing. With Sears’s future hanging in the balance, this seems like a good moment to give Julius Rosenwald his due…”

Not only did Rosenwald bring a strong focus on efficiency, innovation and customer service to Sears, but he also is notable, the story says, for how “he put his Sears fortune to philanthropic use: partnering with African American communities across the segregated South to build schools.”

Fascinating story, largely unknown, and you can read it here.
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