- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 5, 2006

CHICAGO (AP) — Gary C. Comer, founder of the Lands’ End casual clothing company, died Sept. 29 after a long battle with cancer. He was 78.

“American business has lost an icon,” Lands’ End President David McCreight said.

“Gary Comer was a visionary entrepreneur, whose passion for excellence created a legendary company,” he said. “His adventurous spirit, environmental stewardship and legacy of philanthropic leadership continue to inspire us.”

Comer, who grew up on Chicago’s South Side, founded Lands’ End in the 1960s and stepped down as president in 1990. He remained chairman of the board and the majority shareholder until the company was sold to Sears, Roebuck & Co. in May 2002.

In 2001, Mr. Comer and his wife, Frances, donated $21 million to help build the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital — matching the largest donation ever to University of Chicago Hospitals, the company said.

“He was a man of unparalleled vision and generosity and we are all enormously indebted to him and his memory,” said Robert Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago.

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