LAZARUS, U.S. family of department store owners. In 1851 SIMON LAZARUS (d. 1877) emigrated from north Germany and opened a store in Columbus, Ohio. He also served the local Congregation B'nai Jeshurun as a volunteer rabbi. His sons FRED (d. 1917) and RALPH (d. 1903) founded F. and R. Lazarus and Co., which sold men's and later also women's clothing. After Fred's death, his sons SIMON (1882–1947) and FRED JR. (1884–1973) took charge, joined by their brother ROBERT (1890–1973) in 1926, when the business became a full-line department store. A subsidiary in Cincinnati was added in 1928, managed by the youngest brother, JEFFREY (1894–?). A holding company – Federated Department Stores, Inc. – was established in 1929 by the Lazarus family, together with Filene's, Abraham and Straus, and Bloomingdale's. It was transformed into an operating company in 1945, with Fred Jr. as president. Expanding into the southern and western United States, the company operated 119 department stores, 12 specialty and discount stores, and 63 supermarkets by 1970, with $2.1 billion consolidated annual net sales. Fred Jr., Robert, Fred Jr.'s son RALPH (1914–1988), and other fourth-generation sons held the executive positions.
Fred Jr., a Republican, served on presidential committees under the Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Kennedy administrations and participated in local civic affairs, including the Cincinnati Conference of Christians and Jews and the Jewish Orphan Home in Cleveland. He was long an executive committee member of the American Jewish Committee. His brother Simon served on the board of governors of Hebrew Union College and of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.