Joseph Brooks, the former chairman of Lord & Taylor and Ann Taylor died last week of leukemia, reports Women’s Wear Daily.
Brooks had an 11-year tenure with Lord & Taylor, growing the department store from 19 to 46 stores and from $200 million to $900 million in annual sales. In 1986, he resigned from the chain after parent company Associated Dry Goods was purchased by the May Department Stores Co. He then partnered with Merrill Lynch Capital Partners Inc. to buy the Ann Taylor specialty chain in 1989, where be became chairman, increasing sales and earnings, introducing an exclusive shoe line and expanding the chain to 34 new markets.
His career also included posts at Filene’s, Rike’s and Burdines.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Alice, his daughter, Elizabeth Brooks Rains, and son, Thomas