Sidney Shapiro, founder of the Syd Jerome Menswear store in Chicago died Monday, Aug. 20, of complications from pneumonia. He was 86.
Shapiro founded the men’s store 60 years ago in the Chicago Loop, the heart of the city’s financial district. It is well-known for its high-end assortment of designer apparel and accessories. The store is now owned and operated by his son, Scott Shapiro.
In the inaugural issue of the Syd Jerome magazine in 2010, Sidney and Scott Shapiro wrote that the store had always operated on “three simple principles: service, selection and quality. We know how hard our customers work, so we strive to provide the best values from the world’s greatest sources of men’s clothing and furnishings, and to deliver them in a club-like atmosphere.”
The store was singled out as one of the Best Stores in America by Esquire magazine in 2011 and the business has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal. In honor of its 50th anniversary, the city of Chicago renamed a portion of North LaSalle Street as “Syd Jerome Way,” one of Shapiro’s proudest achievements.
Sidney Shapiro started working as a stock boy in a local men’s wear store when he was 10 years old. After graduating from college, he enlisted in the Army and when his tour of duty was complete, he returned home to Chicago and opened his own store under the Syd Jerome Menswear name.
He handed the daily operation of the business to Scott when he turned 80 but continued to visit the store nearly every day. “I don’t have hobbies, I don’t play golf, my business is my baby,” he told MR magazine in 2012.
Shapiro is survived by his wife of 65 years, Muriel (Cissie); sons Scott, Lee and Jeff, and seven grandchildren.
Services will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 12:30 p.m. at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, 1175 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, Ill.
The family requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation or Jewish United Fund.