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Milton Petrie; Clothing Merchandiser, Philanthropist

November 09, 1994| From Reuters

SECAUCUS, N.J. — Milton Petrie, who earned a fortune as a women's clothing merchandiser and fame for giving money away, has died at 92.

Petrie Stores officials announced the death on Monday.

The son of a Russian immigrant, Petrie built the chain to about 1,600 stores across the United States and Canada.

He retained operating control until earlier this year, when declining health forced him to appoint a new chief executive.

His wealth has been estimated at more than $900 million.

Petrie gained renown for his acts of philanthropy, often to people whose woes he read about in the newspaper.

He came to the assistance of New Jersey's Kienast family in 1984, when the father of the quintuplets killed himself. Petrie paid their mortgage.

He also came to the aid of model Marla Hanson after a New York City landlord's razor attack left her scarred.

And he helped the families of several New York policemen injured or killed in the line of duty.

Petrie is survived by his wife, Carol, a son, two daughters and two grandchildren.

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