Lawrence Eliot "Lawrie" Marcus, a former executive vice president of Neiman Marcus and the son of the retailer's co-founder Herbert Marcus, died on Friday, Nov. 1.
The 96-year-old died at UT Southwestern-St. Paul University Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., of kidney and heart disease
"I am saddened by the passing of Lawrence Marcus. He was an idea man and a master of marketing, who often called me to talk about the latest trends in retailing," Karen Katz, president and CEO of Neiman Marcus Group, told Women's Wear Daily.
"I will miss his thoughtful reflections on the store…He was a connoisseur of luxury and elegance. In fact, I spied him not long ago in the store perusing a book on the history of the Fendi baguette bag," Katz added.
Marcus joined the family business in 1942 after earning bachelor's and master's degrees in business at Harvard. However, within six months, he was commissioned to serve in the U.S. Army in North Africa during World War II.
Discharged in 1944, Marcus returned to Neiman's to be tutored for six months by exacting buyer Moira Cullen, who is credited with establishing the retailer's style with company cofounder Carrie Marcus Neiman.
Marcus elevated the women's designer business to high profit levels through his ingenuity and eye for talent, according to Women's Wear Daily. He was Emilio Pucci's first customer, and helped launch the careers of James Galanos and Bill Blass.
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