Harold Alfond, 93, founder of Dexter Shoe Co., who focused on philanthropy after selling the company in 1993 for $400 million, died Nov. 16, 2007, of complications from cancer.
Alfond was the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia who was born and raised in Swampscott, Mass. He founded Dexter Shoe in 1958 and pioneered the outlet concept, selling imperfect and discontinued products at 80 stores.
The company maintained a U.S. manufacturing presence after many other U.S. firms, but eventually moved all of its manufacturing overseas.
After selling out to giant Berkshire Hathaway in 1993, Alfond stepped up charitable giving, primarily to educational institutions and for college scholarships in Maine and New England.
In 2005, the most recent year for which records are available, the Harold Alfond Foundation gave $100,000 to the Holocaust Human Rights Center of Maine. It donated more than $25 million total, primarily to educational institutions in Maine and New England. Among the largest donations of the year was $2 million to Maine General Health Cancer Center.
Alfond became a minority partner in the Boston Red Sox in 1978.
He was married to Dorothy “Bibby” Levine, who died in 2006, for 63 years. They had four children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.