Target co-founder Bruce Dayton dies

Bruce Dayton, one of the five brothers who founded Target has died at the age of 97.

In 1950, Dayton and his brothers inherited their father's department store—a store that began as Dayton Dry Goods Company, opened by the brothers' grandfather in 1902. The five brothers pioneered the idea of combining fashion and discount, eventually transforming The Dayton Company into Target as its known today, according to StarTribune.

"Bruce's record of achievement is remarkable: building the first indoor shopping mall, pioneering the concept of discount retail, founding a company that would become one of the largest private-sector employers in the world," said Brian Cornell, Target chairman and CEO. "But as much as I am in awe of Bruce's accomplishments, it is his legacy of generosity that I will always remember the most."

Dayton, the last of the five brothers, was instrumental in taking The Dayton Company public in 1967 and merging it with Hudson's, forming Dayton Hudson Corp., which later became Target.

In the early 1970s, Dayton stepped aside as CEO of Dayton Hudson Corp. as his brother Kenneth took on the role. He and Kenneth were the last brothers to leave the board of directors in 1983.

Of the five, Dayton was known for his financial strength, but it was the collaboration between the brothers, a commitment to ethical corporate governance and philanthropy that contribute to the company's early success.

"That notion is one of the Dayton family's core philosophies: Companies' fortunes are intrinsically linked to the health and vitality of the communities in which they operate," Cornell said.

In addition to mandating that 5 percent of Target's profits are given back to the community in 1946, Dayton himself was a legendary benefactor of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. He was a trustee for 73 years, has given more than $80 million in capital support, led a $50 million endowment campaign, and donated more than 2,000 works of art.

For more:
- Read the Target blog post
- See the StarTribune article

Related stories:
Target to open first Manhattan store
Target discontinues Take Charge of Eduation
Staples co-founder Thomas Stemberg dies
L.L. Bean legend Leon Gorman dies
Weis Markets' Robert Weis dies at age 96