Family Dollar Founder Leon Levine Net Worth in 2023

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Know about Leon Levine Net Worth, Biography, Career, and Philanthropic Work, including his variety store chain Family Dollar. He is an American businessman and entrepreneur, whose estimated net worth is US$5 Million as of 2023. Read this post to know more details about Leon Levine and his Biography.

Leon Levine Net Worth
Leon Levine Net Worth

Who was Leon Levin?

Leon Levin was a renowned American businessman, and entrepreneur popularly known as the founder of the American variety store chain Family Dollar. He was born on June 8, 1937, in Wadesboro, North Carolina, USA, and had a successful career in the fashion industry.

Levin initially worked as a salesman for various clothing companies like J.C. Penney and Izod. Later in 1976, he started Chaps Ralph Lauren with his wife, Lisa, focusing mainly on men’s apparel before expanding to women’s clothing. With Levin at the helm, Chaps Ralph Lauren swiftly gained prominence, achieving a dominant position in the fashion industry. Known for its timeless, top-quality designs, the brand gained a global fan base of customers.

Leon Levine Net Worth

After conducting research, it has been estimated that Leon Levin has a net worth of $5 million dollars. The majority of his wealth is attributed to his success as a businessman in the United States.

NameLeon Levin
Net Worth(2023)$5 Million Dollars
ProfessionAmerican businessman
Date of Birth8 June 1937
Age85 years old
BirthplaceWadesboro, North Carolina, United States
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Leon Levin Biography

Leon Levine’s Early Life and Family

Leon Levine was born on June 8, 1937, in Wadesboro, North Carolina, to a Jewish family. Although his family lived in Rockingham, North Carolina, they had to travel to Wadesboro for his birth because there was no hospital in their hometown at that time. Leon’s mother and brother, Sherman, managed a small store in their town called The Hub until it closed down in 1960.

Real NameLeon Levin
Nick NameLeon Levin
Date of Birth8 June 1937
Age85 years old
BirthplaceWadesboro, North Carolina, United States
ProfessionAmerican businessman
EducationDuke University, Wingate University
DivorceBarbara Leven (m. 1958–1966)
SpouseSandra Poliakoff (m. 1978)

Personal Tragedy and Increased Responsibility

When Leon was 12 years old, his father passed away due to a heart attack, which brought him closer to his mother than ever before. In 1951, Sherman was drafted to fight in the Korean War, leaving Leon to take on his responsibilities at the store. According to North Carolina law at that time, Leon was allowed to attend school only in the morning and work in the afternoon. This experience instilled in him a sense of responsibility and work ethic at a young age.

Leon Levine’s early career

Leon Levine was born into a Jewish family on June 8, 1937, in Wadesboro, North Carolina. His family operated a small town store called The Hub, managed by his brother Sherman and his mother until its closure in 1960. In 1949, Leon’s father died from a heart attack, which led him to become closer to his mother than before.

Family Dollar

In 1956, Leon and Sherman purchased a Chenille bedspread factory in Wingate, North Carolina, which Leon managed while attending nearby Wingate College during the mornings. After a discouraging sales trip to New York, Leon nonetheless persisted and was able to develop a market for his bedspreads in Puerto Rico. In 1958, realizing he would have to make a major capital investment in new equipment in order to stay competitive, he sold the company.

In 1959, Leon visited a store in Kentucky that sold nothing costing more than a dollar. He liked the simple concept and, at the age of 22, opened a similar store in the 1500 block of Central Avenue in Charlotte, North Carolina. He named it Family Dollar for the affordability of its merchandise and the demographic that it was aimed towards. Levine capitalized Family Dollar with $3,000 of his own money and $3,000 from a partner.

Family Dollar’s rapid growth

In June 1960, Levine opened a second store in Charlotte, next door to a Park ‘n Shop store on Wilkinson Boulevard. Later that year, he opened a third store in Charlotte, followed by another one in Hamlet, North Carolina. That same year, due to inflation, he realized that the $2 price cap was not feasible, and he increased it to $3, a ceiling he kept until 1972.

The company grew rapidly; by 1961, Family Dollar had expanded into neighboring South Carolina. In 1962, Family Dollar did some $2 million in business and moved into the Augusta, Georgia market. Around this time, Levine went solo, buying out his partner’s interest in the company. By the end of 1979, Family Dollar had 380 stores in eight states.

In 1974, Family Dollar moved its administrative and warehouse space to a newly built facility in Matthews, North Carolina. In 1970, Levine decided to put the Family Dollar public on the stock exchange. Two years later, Family Dollar’s common stock began trading on the American Stock Exchange.

Family and Personal Life

Leon Levine was born into a Jewish family in Wadesboro, North Carolina on June 8, 1937. His family operated a small town store called The Hub in Rockingham, North Carolina, where Leon worked during high school and after his father’s death. In 1951, when his brother Sherman was drafted into the U.S. Army, Leon assumed his responsibilities at the store. He attended Wingate College in the morning and managed a Chenille bedspread factory in the afternoon.

In 1958, he sold the factory and opened his first Family Dollar store in Charlotte, North Carolina, which quickly expanded to eight states with over 380 stores by 1979. In 2003, he retired as Chairman and CEO of Family Dollar and started The Leon Levine Foundation.

Leon Levine married Barbara Leven in February 1958, and they had three children. Barbara died from breast cancer in 1966, and Mindy, one of their daughters, committed suicide in 1988. In 1978, Levine married Sandra Poliakoff, whom he had known since the 1960s when she was friends with Barbara. They had one daughter, Amy, in 1981, and ten grandchildren.

Philanthropic Work and Legacy

Levine and Poliakoff were involved in numerous charitable and philanthropic causes, and they served on the Board of Directors for The Leon Levine Foundation, which invests in nonprofit organizations that focus on sustainability in healthcare, education, Jewish values, and human services. Levine was a member of the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame, and Temple Israel in Charlotte named its social hall after him.

On April 5, 2023, Leon Levine passed away in Charlotte at the age of 85. His legacy lives on through his successful business ventures and his philanthropic work, which continues to improve the welfare of communities throughout the Carolinas.

Leon Levin Achievement and Awards list

Despite being recognized mainly for his accomplishments in the fashion industry and his charitable work, Leon Levine was also the recipient of numerous awards and honors during his career. Some of the notable accolades and achievements that he received are:

  1. Induction into the American Apparel and Footwear Association Hall of Fame in 2003.
  2. The Parsons School of Design Design Achievement Award in 2004.
  3. The Men’s Fashion Association Gold Medal Award in 2008.
  4. The New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
  5. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2014 for his contributions to the community and the nation.

Leon Levine Death

Leon Levine, the creator of the retail franchise Family Dollar, passed away on Wednesday (April 5, 2023) at 85 years old. He established the first Family Dollar store in 1959 on Central Avenue in Charlotte. Although the cause of Levine’s death has not been disclosed to the public, it is believed to be due to natural causes.

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