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Former Retail Executives Die

Presidents of Sears and Kmart during the 1970s

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On the day that Sears Roebuck & Co. announced the selection of its new president and ceo, former president Dean Swift died of a stroke at the age of 81. Swift was president of the retailer from 1972 to 1980. He began his career at Sears in managerial roles in Indianapolis and Detroit stores. In 1969, he was appointed vp of Sears'13-state southern territory and was elected to the board of directors. He was named president of the company in 1972.

At the same time, another former retail stalwart died. Robert Dewar, former chairman of Kmart Corp., passed away at the age of 77. Dewar began his career at the retailer in 1948 in Kmart's legal department. He was later named president and chief administration officer in 1970, and chairman and ceo in 1972. He stepped down as chairman in 1980 and retired permanently from the chain in 1988. During his tenure, he was credited with seeing the Troy, Mich., retail chain through its largest growth spurt. Kmart grew to 2,000 stores across the nation while under his helm.

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