ToysRUs Founder Charles Lazarus Dies At Age 94

In a saddeningly timely turn of events, CNN Money has reported that Charles Lazarus, founder of ToysRUs, has passed away at the age of 94. Lazarus began the business that came to be known as ToysRUs in 1948, opening his first all-toy store in 1957 and staying with the company until 1994. TFormers expresses our deepest condolences Mr. Lazarus' friends and family. From CNN's story:

He started selling baby furniture in a store called Children's Bargain Town in Washington, D.C. But he quickly expanded to selling toys.

In 1957, Lazarus opened his first store stocked only with toys. It was modeled after a supermarket, with a wide assortment of items stocked high on shelves. He named it Toys "R" Us — with a backwards "R" in the logo that was supposed to look like it was drawn by a kid. Its iconic giraffe mascot, started as part of advertisements for Children's Bargain Town. Its name was changed from "Geoffrey" in 1965 and soon became the center of its marketing campaign.

The company went public in 1978 and thrived in the years that followed, growing from a $1 billion in the early 1990's to an $11 billion business.
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