The Founder of Toys "R" Us, Charles Lazarus, Has Passed Away
As Toys "R" Us is preparing to close all of its stores down in the U.S., the founder of the company Charles Lazarus has passed away at the age of 94. He started the company in 1948 at the age of 25 years old and he remained the company's CEO until 1994. As of the time of his passing, he no longer held a stake in the company.
Current Toys "R" Us CEO Michael Goldstein had this to say in a statement:
"He was the father of the toy business. He knew the toys and loved the toys and loved the kids who would shop in the stores. His face lit up when he watched kids playing with toys."
The company issued the following statement:
"There have been many sad moments for Toys "R" Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today's news about the passing of our beloved founder. He visited us in New Jersey just last year, and we will forever be grateful for his positive energy, passion for the customer and love for children everywhere. Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles' family and loved ones."
CNN offers a little background on Lazarus and the how he started Toy "R" Us:
He started selling baby furniture in a store called Children's Bargain Town in Washington, D.C. But he quickly expanded to selling toys.
In 1957, Lazarus opened his first store stocked only with toys. It was modeled after a supermarket, with a wide assortment of items stocked high on shelves. He named it Toys "R" Us — with a backwards "R" in the logo that was supposed to look like it was drawn by a kid. Its iconic giraffe mascot, started as part of advertisements for Children's Bargain Town. Its name was changed from "Geoffrey" in 1965 and soon became the center of its marketing campaign.
This is such sad news, but he left a legacy a legacy behind that created memories for a lot of kids who grew up with Toys "R" Us in their lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.