Founder of Discount Tire, Bruce T. Halle, dies at age 87

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(Source: Eastern Michigan University) (Source: Eastern Michigan University)
(Source: Discount Tire) (Source: Discount Tire)
(Source: Discount Tire) (Source: Discount Tire)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

Bruce T. Halle, the founder and chairman of the nationwide retailer Discount Tire, died Thursday at the age of 87.

Officials of the company headquartered in Scottsdale say Halle died Thursday in his sleep.

A cause of death wasn't immediately released.

Halle founded the company in 1960. His first store was in Ann Arbor and he started with an inventory of six tires. Today, Discount Tire has grown to be the largest independent tire dealer in North America, with more than 900 locations in 29 states and employing 18,000 people.

“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,” said Michael Zuieback, CEO at Discount Tire. “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.”

According to Forbes, Halle is the richest person in Arizona, with a net worth of about $6 billion.

Philanthropy has been a major focus of Halle and his wife, Diane, over the years.

[YouTube: Bruce T. Halle- 2015 Horatio Alger Award Winner]

Everyone at St. Mary’s Food Bank was saddened to learn of the passing of great Arizonan and philanthropist Bruce Halle on Thursday.

The Halle family has been committed to helping others for decades, especially in their adopted home of Arizona. St. Mary’s is just one of the many non-profit organizations who have been able to help so many families and children in our state through their generous, thoughtful and consistent philanthropic efforts. 

Jerry Brown, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance

In 2002, they founded the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation to extend their sense of caring to the larger community. The Halle Foundation now serves as a leader in promoting new ways to collaborate on issues of social justice.

His Bruce T. Halle Scholarship program has awarded over $8.5 million since 2004 to help send 2,100 of his employees' children to college.

Halle served as a Marine during the Korean War then got a business administration degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1956.

Eastern Michigan University President James Smith said, “I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Bruce Halle. My thoughts are with his wife, Diane, their children, other family members, their friends and co-workers. Bruce touched many, many lives in the business world, and through his support of the University and its students, continues to touch many lives on our campus today. “In many ways, Bruce represents the Eastern Michigan University experience shared by many – starting with little funds, little support, but a lot of hard work and determination. We are extremely thankful for what he has meant to our University. The legacy he leaves behind is one that will support our institution and our students for decades to come.”

“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,” said Discount Tire Vice Chairman, Gary Van Brunt. “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.”

Halle is survived by his wife Diane, his loving children Bruce Halle, Jr. (Nikki), Susan Lyle (Wilson), Lisa Pedersen (Chris) and Michael Zuieback (Sheila); siblings Bob Halle (Nancy), Mary Ellen Merrill, Betty Lou Halle; and seven grandchildren.

Funeral plans are pending.

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