Stuart G. Moldaw, founder of Ross Stores Inc., died Saturday after a brief illness. He was 81 years old.
Moldaw established the discount chain in 1982 and served as chairman of the board until 1993, when he became chairman emeritus.
The Pleasanton, Calif.-based discount chain is the nation’s second largest off-price retailer, with more than 900 locations in 27 states.
“I have had the privilege of working closely with Stuart for almost 30 years,” said Ross Stores chairman Norman Ferber. “He was an unforgettable man – a visionary, entrepreneur, leader and philanthropist.”
Moldaw was politically active on both the national and state levels. President Bill Clinton appointed him as a public delegate to the U.S. Mission at the United Nations in 1993 and chairman of the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars in 1996.
In 2000, former California Governor Gray Davis appointed Moldaw to chair the state’s World Trade Commission.