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Karl and Theo Albrecht
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Entrepreneur
    Born in Essen, Germany
    Karl Albrecht (February 20, 1920-July 16, 2014)
    Theodore 'Theo' Albrecht (March 28, 1922-July 24, 2010)
    Founded the Aldi (Albrecht Discount) chain of grocery stores (1946)
    Theo bought the US chain Trader Joe's (1979)
    Net worth at their deaths: $16.7 billion for Theo, $29 billion for Karl
    Following a dispute over whether Aldi should sell cigarettes (Theo was in favor, Karl worried they would attract shoplifters), they divided the company in two (1960).
    They rarely appeared in public, with Forbes calling them 'more reclusive than the yeti.'
    Karl had a private golf course built that connected to his fortress-like home by a tunnel so he could come and go secretly.
    They banned Aldi store managers from not just speaking to the press, but from consulting with fellow managers in different market districts.
    In keeping with their secretiveness, their deaths were not made public until after their funerals had been held.
    They turned the shop they inherited from their mother into a worldwide empire with over 8,000 stores.
    They stuck firmly to their business policy of 'The best quality at the lowest price.'
    They were widely revered in Germany as symbols of the country's post-war success.
    Theo was kidnapped for 17 days by a lawyer desperate to pay off his gambling debts (1971), which no doubt contributed to the brothers' secretiveness.
    Theo negotiated a reduction in his kidnapper's demands, and later successfully argued in tax court that he should be allowed to deduct the ransom as a business expense.

Credit: C. Fishel


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 6 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
 
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