Louie Blumkin Dies at 93February 28, 2013
Louie Blumkin, chairman emeritus at Nebraska Furniture Mart, has died at age 93.
s the only son of Rose "Mrs. B" Blumkin, Louie Blumkin’s life’s work was his family’s well-being, Nebraska Furniture Mart and giving back to the community. For more than 75 years, Louie served generations of customers. Louie developed a keen knack of knowing what his customers wanted early on. Working side-by-side with Mrs. B, Nebraska Furniture Mart developed into a great place to shop. He could remember generations of customers by name, by what they bought and when they made the purchase. On the buying side he had no equal. He worked all the major markets, never took notes and made a lot of great deals for his customers. His handshake was his bond; his reputation and word were solid gold.
Blumkin was born June 27, 1919. He was a champion diver on the Tech High School swim team and is in the Tech High Hall of Fame for the Class of 1938.
Louie was halfway to Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, when his transport was turned back to San Francisco. He then went to Europe in 1942. In 1944, he landed on Omaha beach with the Third Armored Division under General George S. Patton. His battalion was sent to relieve troops at the Battle of the Bulge, and he participated in the liberation of Dachau concentration camp. While serving in the Army, he received the Good Conduct Medal, The Purple Heart and The European Theater Medal-along with four Bronze Stars signifying his years of service.
Louie’s passion was golf. He practiced and played every chance he had, and he was a huge Nebraska football fan.
Since 1945, Louie ran Nebraska Furniture Mart. In 1983, the family sold a majority interest in the business to Berkshire Hathaway and began a great partnership with Warren Buffett.
Nebraska Furniture Mart has continued to expand, opening stores in Des Moines in 2000, Kansas City in 2003 and a future store in Dallas/Fort Worth in 2015.