Lubar Corporate Partners
Max Kohl
Max Kohl
  • May 12,1901 (Poland) - December 14, 1981
  • Founder of a supermarket chain and a department store chain in Milwaukee and developer of two major shopping centers and related real estate activities; philanthropist
  • In 1953 Kohl formed a foundation to support his interests in solving Milwaukee's social problems and in local Jewish institutions, as well as Brandeis University and the Jewish National Fund.
Max Kohl

Founder
Kohls Food Stores
A Polish immigrant of the 1920's who initially worked in a factory, Kohl opened a grocery store on Milwaukee's south side in 1929 just prior to the Great Depression. He gradually expanded it into a chain of 48 supermarkets in southern Wisconsin. During the 1960's, Kohl's Food Stores was Wisconsin's largest supermarket chain, employing more than 5,000 people before it was sold to British-owned Brown and Williamson in 1970. The name survives on Milwaukee-area supermarkets, as it does on a chain of Midwestern department stores which Kohl conceived and founded in 1962, and then also sold. Kohl claimed that his success in retailing was based on quality products and courteous service. In the 1960's Kohl and his family also undertook development of two major shopping centers in the Milwaukee-area - Northridge and Southridge; they have also divested these.

In 1953 Kohl formed a foundation to support his interests in solving Milwaukee's social problems and in local Jewish institutions, as well as Brandeis University and the Jewish National Fund.