Walter A. Haas

business executive
Born: 5/11/1889
Birthplace: San Francisco, Calif.

Haas began his lifelong affiliation with Levi Strauss & Co. in 1914 when he married the grand-niece of its founder. The company's initial success was waning and the owners were considering selling off its assets, but Haas convinced them to try again. He had turned it around within two years, a feat that earned him the respect of the owners and the title of president from 1928–55. He engineered the firm's diversification from wholesale dry-goods into manufacturing and distributing a broader array of products, sending sales from $8 million in 1946 to more than $2 billion at the time of his death in 1979.

Died: 12/7/1979