Gordon B. Sherman, creator of the chain of Midas Muffler Shops, died of cancer May 8 after a long illness, the Associated Press reported Friday. He was 59 and died in Mill Valley, Calif.
Sherman had lost control of the Chicago-based company in 1971 and moved to Marin County.
His father, Nate, had founded an auto parts and service company in Chicago when--in the mid-1950s--the younger Sherman decided to start a chain of franchised muffler replacement shops.
But later Sherman started helping finance several social activities, including a public-interest law firm called Businessmen for the Public Interest. He was ordered by the board of Midas International Corp. to halt such activities, then lost his battle for control.
The company had 600 shops when Sherman left and now has 2,000.