Longtime footwear and retail executive Edward D. Solomon died of natural causes on Sept. 28 at the age of 90.
Solomon’s career in retail spanned nearly half a century, starting at the age of 25 when he began working at Gallenkamp shoes, ultimately rising to become the company’s chief executive officer within 10 years’ time. In 1969 he left to become the CEO of Karl’s Shoes at the age of 38 — then among the U.S.’s biggest shoe chains.
When Karl’s merged with Hartfield-Zodys three years later, Solomon became the publicly traded entity’s president and chief operating officer. From 1976 to 1984, he served as the company’s CEO.
After leaving to spend time with family and consult, Solomon became the CEO of Shoe Town in 1989, leading a retailer with more than 100 store locations. He stayed in that role until 1994, when that company also saw a merger. In addition to his executive work, Solomon served on the boards of Dress Barn Inc., Channel Home Centers Inc. and The Butler Group Inc.
A graduate of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Solomon’s work in the shoe and retail industries took him from California to New Jersey, but in his later years the executive ultimately settled in Florida.
Solomon is survived by his wife Regina Solomon, children Jerry Solomon, Susan Kurtzman and David Solomon and grandchildren Michael Vann, Clay Solomon, Corey Vann, Matthew Solomon, Nicole Solomon and Brian Solomon.
A memorial service will be held in New York, also available for attendance via Zoom, later this month. Donations can be made to City of Hope or the Jack Martin Fund, both of which Solomon was involved with during his life.