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Thursday, Oct 6, 2022

No. 13 , Sol Price

Estimated net worth: $500 million

Sol Price, 90, is the retail innovator who brought consumers the membership warehouse stores so widespread today. He created Federated Stores, known as FedMart, in 1954. Then he started Price Club in 1976, the concept for which he first drew out on a napkin to associates in late 1975.

His core retailing philosophy is to provide one-stop shopping, combining the features of a discount store and a supermarket and offering the lowest prices.

Price Club was sold to Costco in 1993 for an estimated $2 billion and now he and his son, Robert, are partial owners of the publicly traded PriceSmart Inc. His retailing style was copied by Sam Walton, reportedly after he and Walton dined together in 1983. Later that year, the first Sam’s Club opened in Oklahoma City.

The media & #173;-shy Price is described variously by colleagues as socially conscious, moral, loyal, charming, intellectually challenging, modest, strong-willed, sharp-tongued and demanding.

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He’s known as a boss who takes care of productive employees.

He once recounted in a Price Club newsletter the things he looks for in an employee as “integrity, industry and intelligence.”

Price graduated from San Diego State University in 1934 and earned a law degree from the University of Southern California in 1938.

Having grown up in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego in the 1930s, Price has been instrumental in the revitalization of what had become one of the city’s poorest and most dangerous areas. He has donated more than $100 million to improving the district.

He set up the Price Family Charitable Fund in 1985 and Price Charities in 2000.

Since 1998, the Price Fund, along with the Weingart Foundation in Los Angeles, have jointly funded more than $83 million to charities in San Diego and Imperial counties.

, Mark Larson


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