Jack I. Straus; Guided Macy’s in Major Expansion

From Times Wire Services

Jack Isidor Straus, who was chief executive officer of R. H. Macy & Co. when the company expanded into a nationwide chain, has died at a Manhattan hospital. He was 85.

Straus died Thursday at Roosevelt Hospital.

R. H. Macy is the Manhattan-based parent company of New York’s Macy’s department store and 93 other Macy’s stores in 14 states.

Straus joined the company after graduating from Harvard in 1921. He became vice president in 1933 and by 1940 had moved up to president and chief executive officer. He became chairman in 1956 and served as chairman of the executive committee between 1968 and 1976, when he retired.


His great-grandfather, Lazarus Straus, moved the family from Georgia to New York after the Civil War and began the family business of L. Straus & Sons. The family’s association with Rowland H. Macy began when Straus’ great-uncle, Nathan Straus, started selling imported china and glassware to Macy.

Nathan and Straus’ grandfather, Isidor Straus, later leased selling space at the Macy store and purchased controlling interest in the company in 1896.