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Bruce Halle, richest man in Arizona and Discount Tire founder, dies


PHOENIX — Bruce Halle, the richest man in Arizona and the founder of Discount Tire, died Thursday at the age of 87.

Discount Tire CEO Michael Zuieback confirmed multiple reports in a statement released Thursday night.

“It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that today, our friend, founder and a passionate family member, Mr. Halle, has passed away,” he said.

“I have had the privilege of working with and learning from the most talented, respected, humble and kind leader anyone could hope for, and I speak on behalf of all who knew Bruce in that he will be dearly missed.”

“His absence creates a tremendous loss for all of us, but in his honor, Discount Tire will continue on the course that Bruce has set for us,” Gary Van Brunt, Discount Tire vice chairman, said. “The five lessons that Mr. Halle taught us will forever resonate in our hearts and minds: Be honest, work hard, have fun, be grateful and pay it forward.”

In a statement, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce said Halle was a “tremendous local business leader and philanthropist.”

Forbes estimated in October that Halle was worth $4.6 billion, making him the 144th-richest person in the world.

The Paradise Valley resident and Korean War veteran was no stranger to the prominent list. His name appeared there on a regular basis over the past decade.

Halle — who was born in Springfield, Massachusetts — started with just six tires in his Ann Arbor, Michigan showroom in 1960. Since then, the company has grown to more than 900 stores in 28 states.

The tire and wheel retailer earned fame for its 1975 television commercial where an elderly lady throws a tire through a store window with the tagline, “if ever you’re not satisfied with one of our tires, please feel free to bring it back to us.”

The commercial earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest-running television advertisement.

The Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation and the Diane Halle Center for Family Justice at Arizona State are two of the philanthropic organizations that came from his business endeavors.

According to Forbes, Halle’s scholarship program has awarded more than $8.5 million since 2004 to help send 2,100 of his employees’ children to college.

Halle was also heavily involved in the art world. Items from his collections were showcased at several museums, including the Phoenix Art Museum.

He is survived by his wife Diane, his children Bruce Halle, Jr., Susan Lyle, Lisa Pedersen and Michael Zuieback, siblings Bob Halle, Mary Ellen Merrill, Betty Lou Halle and seven grandchildren.

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