Legendary retailer Stanley Marcus, longtime chairman of Neiman-Marcus, passed away at the age of 96 yesterday. Contained within his obit was the following:
Known as “Mr. Dallas” for his devotion to the city where he was born and lived for much of his life, Marcus nevertheless infuriated the conservative establishment in the 1950s and 1960s. He championed civil rights and free speech.
During the height of the “red scare” in the 1950s, he publicly defended the Dallas Museum of Art, accused of showing “communist art” in showcasing works by Picasso and other artists.
He was among the first Dallas merchants to hire blacks as salespeople and welcome blacks to shop at his stores.
Despite threats of boycotts, picket lines and canceling of charge accounts, Marcus’ business never suffered much, because the wives of the most conservative Dallas leaders couldn’t bear to live without shopping at Neiman’s.
RIP, Mister Stanley.