Bruce Halle

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Bruce T. Halle
Portrait by Jeff Krausert
BornBruce Thomas Halle
(1930-05-27)May 27, 1930
Springfield, Massachusetts, US
DiedJanuary 4, 2018(2018-01-04) (aged 87)
Paradise Valley, Arizona, US
CitizenshipAmerican
Alma materEastern Michigan University
Net worthUS$8 billion (January 2018)[1]
Spouse(s)Gerry (until 1989; her death)
Diane Meyers Halle (m. 1999 - 2018; his death)
Children4

Bruce Thomas Halle[2][3] (May 27, 1930 – January 4, 2018) was an American businessman, and the founder and chairman of Discount Tire.[4][5] He was the wealthiest person in Arizona, with an estimated net worth of $5.2 billion at the time of his death.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Bruce Halle was born on May 27, 1930, in Springfield, Massachusetts[4] as the second of seven children to devout Catholic parents, Frederick Joseph "Fred" Halle Sr. and his wife, Marry Elizabeth "Molly" McKelvey; both married in 1927.[6][2][7] His French-Canadian grandfather, Alfred Antoine Halle, had come to Berlin, Massachusetts from Quebec in the mid-1880s with his wife and two sons.[6] As a young boy, during the Great Depression, he supported his family by delivering newspapers, cutting grass and digging graves.[8] Bruce's parents returned home with their two sons to Berlin, where they would lived with Molly’s parents at a home few blocks from St. Kieran's Catholic Church.[6][9] His father, who became a firefighter at the Berlin Fire Department and later made deputy chief.[9] In 1942, his family moved to Detroit, where Fred worked as a security guard at the Ford Motor Company’s Rouge River plant in Michigan.[9] In 1950, Bruce went to enlist in the US Marine Corps and served a tour of duty in the Korean War.[7] He later settled in Michigan[10] and graduated with a BBA[7] from Eastern Michigan University in 1956.[4][5][11]

Career[edit]

After graduated from college, he took a series of jobs by selling cars and life insurance.[7] He tried unsuccessfully to form a partnership with his high school friend, Bill DiDonato on an auto supply distribution company in Ypsilanti, Michigan and by late 1959, the business went bankrupt.[7][12]

In 1960, he borrowed $400[12] and opened a tire store in Ann Arbor, Michigan.[4] In 1964, he opened his second store and by 1970, he had seven stores in Michigan and expanded to Arizona that same year.[13] It later became known as Discount Tire, and grew to over 1000 stores in 28 states by 2018.[4]

As of 2014, he was the 248th richest person in the world, 87th richest in the US, and richest in Arizona, with an estimated wealth of US$6 billion.[14]

Philanthropy[edit]

Through the Bruce T. Halle Family Foundation, he made charitable donations to the Diane Halle Center for Family Justice at Arizona State University and to the Children First Academy, the nation's largest school for homeless children.[4] He made donations to the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Liver Foundation, the American Red Cross, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Childhelp, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.[5]

In Arizona, he supported the Arizona Boys and Girls Clubs, the Arizona Opera League, the Phoenix Symphony, the Scottsdale Symphony, the Crisis Nursery, the Arizona Kidney Foundation, Phoenix Children’s Hospital. He was the first to pledge charter membership of the Children's Urban Survival Program in Phoenix.[5] The Bruce T. Halle Library on his alma mater's campus is named for him.

He had a collection of 400 lithographs from the earliest days of tire advertisements.[4][15] The Diane and Bruce Halle Collection is a private collection of 20th- and 21st-century art from Latin America based in Scottsdale, Arizona.[16]

Political Activities[edit]

In 2016, Discount Tire stores in Arizona posted "Re-Elect Sheriff Joe Arpaio" signs in their windows.[17] Over the course of his career, Arpaio was the subject of several federal civil rights lawsuits. In one case he was a defendant in a decade-long suit in which a federal court issued an injunction barring him from conducting further "immigration round-ups".[18] A federal court subsequently found that after the order was issued, Arpaio's office continued to detain "persons for further investigation without reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed."[18] In July 2017, he was convicted of criminal contempt of court, a crime for which he was pardoned by President Donald Trump on August 25, 2017.[19] In a separate racial-profiling case which concluded in 2013, Arpaio and his subordinates were found to have unfairly targeted Hispanics in conducting traffic stops.[20]

In addition to Discount Tire's support of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Bruce Halle was a political and financial supporter of the "Donald J. Trump for President" 2016 Presidential campaign.[21]

Bruce Halle was also a supporter of the Tea Party movement throughout the Obama Presidency, including his financial support for the "Tea Party Patriots Citizen Fund" and "Tea Party Leadership Fund".[22] He was a financial supporter of the National Association for Gun Rights,[23] an organization self-described as "Accepting 'NO COMPROMISE' on the issue of gun control."[24]

In 2016, he donated $1 million to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy in an effort to stop cannabis legalization in Arizona.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Halle married his childhood sweetheart, Geraldine "Gerry" Konfara Halle,[26] in the late 1940s,[9] and she died in 1989 from cancer.[27][28] According to his biographer, Gerry's death was a "huge, huge blow" to him.[29] Bruce Halle's children were all born with his first wife Gerry. They had four children, Bruce Jr., Susan, Lyle, and Lisa Pedersen.[30][28]

Halle married his second wife, Diane Meyers Halle (née Cummings),[31] ten years later in 1999. Diane was a widow of another Arizona millionaire. They lived in Paradise Valley, Arizona.[4][32]

Halle died on January 4, 2018 at the age of 87.[33][31][30][10] He was survived by three children, his wife, a brother, and two sisters.[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Au-Yeung, Angel (4 January 2018). "Richest Person In Arizona Dies at Age 87". Forbes. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "MTD Tire Dealer of the Year profile". Modern Tire Dealer.
  3. ^ "Bruce Thomas Halle". Wealth-X.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Bruce Halle". Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "Halle Library - Eastern Michigan University". www.emich.edu. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Rosenbaum, Michael. "Six Tires, No Plan: The Impossible Journey of the Most Inspirational Leader That (Almost) Nobody Knows". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Bruce Halle". Bloomberg.
  8. ^ "Confirms Passing of Founder and Chairman, Bruce Halle". Cision PR Newswire. 4 January 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d "Bruce T. Halle". Haratio Alger.
  10. ^ a b "Discount Tire Founder Bruce Halle dies at age 87". Tire Business. 5 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Bruce Halle, wealthiest man in Arizona, has passed away". Fox 10 Phoenix News. 4 January 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Discount Tire Company Inc". Encyclopedia.com.
  13. ^ Berry, Walter (4 January 2018). "Billionaire founder of Discount Tire dies". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
  14. ^ "Forbes 400 2017". Forbes. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  15. ^ Edwin Lurgy, 'Bruce Halle On His Passion For Antique Tire Art', in Forbes, Sep 22, 2011 [1]
  16. ^ "Beverly Adams - Aspen Ideas Festival". Aspen Ideas Festival. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Discount Tire faces boycott for Joe Arpaio signs". KPNX. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  18. ^ a b Megan Cassidy, Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio found guilty of criminal contempt of court, The Arizona Republic (July 31, 2017).
  19. ^ Moore, Lindsay; Flaherty, Joseph (August 25, 2017). "Sheriff Joe Arpaio gets pardon from Donald Trump". The Phoenix New Times. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  20. ^ Santos, Fernanda (May 24, 2013). "Federal Judge Finds Violations of Rights by Sheriff Joe Arpaio". The New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  21. ^ https://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/bruce-halle.asp?cycle=16
  22. ^ https://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/bruce-halle.asp?cycle=14
  23. ^ https://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/bruce-halle.asp?cycle=12
  24. ^ "About NAGR". National Association for Gun Rights.
  25. ^ Stern, Ray (17 October 2016). "Discount Tire Boycott Movement Grows as Owner Donates $1M to Keep Marijuana a Felony". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  26. ^ "Bruce T. Halle". Legacy.
  27. ^ "A Brief Biography". Six Tires, No Plan.
  28. ^ a b Michael Rosenbaum (March 2012). Six Tires, No Plan. Greenleaf Book Group. p. 115. ISBN 978-1-60832-258-9. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  29. ^ Rosenbaum, Michael (March 2012). Six Tires, No Plan. Greenleaf Book Group. ISBN 9781608322589.
  30. ^ a b "Founder of Discount Tire, Bruce T. Halle, dies at age 87". azfamily.com. 5 January 2018.
  31. ^ a b "Bruce Halle, richest person in Arizona, dies". Tucson com. 5 January 2018.
  32. ^ Dawson Fearnow, 'Valley’s Richest Revealed', in Desert Living Today, March 10, 2011 [2]
  33. ^ "Bruce Halle, Discount Tire founder and Arizona's richest man, dies at 87". Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  34. ^ AP (January 5, 2018). "Bruce Halle, Founder of Discount Tire, Is Dead at 87". The New York Times.