GORDON P. FRANKLIN DEAD AT 79, WAS FORMER PRESIDENT OF SAKS,
NEW YORK — Gordon P. Franklin, who began his retail career wrapping packages in the basement of Saks Fifth Avenue and 36 years later became the store’s president, died Tuesday at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.
The cause of death was listed as complications from cancer of the esophagus and stomach. He was 79.
Franklin joined Saks in 1933 and rose through the ranks, becoming president in 1969. Under his leadership, Saks began promoting American designers such as Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein, Norman Norell, Molly Parnis and Donald Brooks under their own labels.
In 1972, Franklin became vice president and general merchandise manager of Bergdorf Goodman. He ended his career in 1976 when he retired from Carter Hawley Hale Stores, where he was in charge of overseas purchasing.
Franklin is survived by his wife, Gwen Randolph Franklin, a former fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar, and two stepsons, Christopher and Haughton Randolph.
Christopher Randolph said no funeral services will be held, but there will be a memorial service in East Hampton in the spring.