S. Prestley Blake

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S. Prestley Blake
Born Stewart Prestley Blake
(1914-11-26) November 26, 1914 (age 102)
Jersey City, New Jersey
Occupation Businessman
Years active 1935-1979
Known for Co-founder of the Friendly Ice Cream Corporation

Stewart Prestley Blake (born November 26, 1914), known as S. Prestley Blake, is an American businessman. He is a co-founder of the Friendly Ice Cream Corporation (known more commonly as "Friendly's").


Blake was born in Jersey City in 1914 to Herbert Prestley Blake, and his wife, Ethel. He attended Northfield Mount Hermon School and Trinity College, Hartford (both in Connecticut). He and his younger brother Curtis (born 1917)[1][2][3][4] founded the Friendly's national restaurant chain during the Great Depression, in 1935. The company was sold to Hershey Foods in 1979 for $164 million, and again for $375 million in 1988.[5][6] He was chairman of the company until 1979.

In 1980, Blake earned a PhD at Western New England College, and one in 1982 at Springfield College. He holds honorary PhD degrees from Bay Path College, Quinnipiac College, and Elms College.[7]

In 2006 he was minority shareholder in Friendly's.[8] On May 1, 2011 Brigantine Media[9] published Blake's autobiography, "A Friendly Life",[10] which describes the early years of Friendly Ice Cream Company as well as Blake's shareholder suit. Blake was married to Della Deming and had one daughter and one son with her. He later married Helen Davis in 1982[11] He turned 100 in 2014.[12]

The S. Prestley Blake Law Center is the home of Western New England University's School of Law (he had donated $250,000 for it in 1979).[13] The Blake Student Center at Northfield Mount Hermon School is also named after him.[14] In 2006 he donated $2 million to Springfield College and had Wilbraham Hall renamed as Herbert P. Blake Hall in honor of his father.[15][16]


  1. ^ Jones, Tim (2017-04-14). "Co-Founder of Friendly's Ice Cream Celebrating 100th Birthday". NBC Boston. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  2. ^ Jones, Tim (2017-04-14). "Co-Founder of Friendly's Ice Cream Celebrating 100th Birthday". NECN. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  3. ^ Sy Becker (2017-04-13). "Friendly’s co-founder Curtis Blake’s 100th birthday celebrated". WWLP.com. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  4. ^ Jim Kinney. "Friendly's co-founder Curtis Blake celebrates 100th birthday". Masslive.com. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  5. ^ "Friendly's co-founder S. Prestley Blake nears 100th birthday; Springfield to celebrate". masslive.com. 
  6. ^ "Friendly’s and its founders are aging well". BostonGlobe.com. 
  7. ^ Who's Who in America: 1996, Volume 3
  8. ^ "Unfriendly maneuvers". boston.com. 
  9. ^ "Brigantine Media". brigantinemedia.com. 
  10. ^ "A Friendly Life: The Autobiography of S. Prestley Blake". Afriendlylife.com. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  11. ^ "Friendly’s founder celebrating 100th birthday". WWLP.com. 
  12. ^ MacQuarrie, Brian (2014-12-25). "A Jefferson follower’s $7.5m declaration of admiration". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  13. ^ "Fund Raiser's Guide to Private Fortunes". google.ca. 
  14. ^ "S. Prestley Blake '34". nmhschool.org. 
  15. ^ "Untitled Document". springfieldcollege.edu. 
  16. ^ "In Our Towns". tribunedigital-thecourant.