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Adolf and Rudolf Dassler
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Entrepreneur
    Born in Herzogenaurach, Germany
    Adolf 'Adi' Dassler (November 3, 1900-September 6, 1978)
    Rudolf 'Rudi' Dassler (March 26, 1898-October 27, 1974)
    Founded the Dassler Brothers shoe company (1924)
    Split the company, with Adi forming Adidas and Rudi forming Puma (1948)
    They joined the Nazi party.
    After Rudi deserted the German army and returned home, Adi ratted him out to the Gestapo.
    After Rudi was released by the Gestapo, he was arrested by the Allies because Adi had told them that Rudi was a member of the Gestapo.
    Rudi retaliated by trying to convince a post-war denazification committee that Adi was a war profiteer and should be stripped of his ownership of the company.
    The rivalry between the brothers and their companies also divided the town of Herzogenaurach: Adidas employees would buy their bread from Adidas-friendly bakers, get their meat from pro-Adidas butchers, drink in Adidas-only beer halls, and so on.
    When they died, they were buried in opposite corners of the town cemetery, as far apart as possible.
    They apparently did not buy into Nazi theories about Aryan superiority, since they provided shoes and spikes to Jesse Owens during the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
    Adi gave refuge to a Jew hiding from the Gestapo.
    Adjustable Adidas cleats, with studs that could be added or removed depending on the condition of the field, helped West Germany win the 1954 World Cup. (Typically, the brothers feuded over who first came up with the idea.)
    Laborers working on the Dasslers' homes took advantage of the feud to get free shoes: if a worker showed up at Rudi's home in a pair of Adidas, Rudi would send him to the basement to pick out a pair of Pumas to change into.

Credit: C. Fishel


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