Founder Of Family Dollar Dies At Age 85

Julianna Frieman Contributor
Font Size:

Family Dollar founder Leon Levine died Wednesday at age 85.

The North Carolina chain store creator contributed to charitable causes in the Charlotte area with the wealth acquired from Family Dollar’s expansion, according to Queen City News.

“I don’t know what Charlotte would look like without his generosity,” Dean Jones, Senior Vice-President for Fundraising at the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, said.

Various institutions are named after Levine due to his philanthropy. Locations like Levine Avenue of the Arts, Levine Hall at UNC Charlotte, and Levine Children’s Hospital and Levine Cancer Institute bear his name. (RELATED: ‘Reckless And Destructive’: Tucker Carlson Says Biden Trashed Dollar’s Status As Reserve Currency)

“We’ve really lost a legacy leader and philanthropist, not only in Charlotte but really in North Carolina and the region,” Jones said.

Levine opened the first Family Dollar store in Nov. 1959 on Central Avenue in Charlotte, NC, after scoring a $6,000 investment at age 22, according to DailyMail.

He envisioned Family Dollar’s philosophy of offering high-quality merchandise for prices under $2, understanding the value of a dollar because of his background growing up in his family’s retail store, according to the Family Dollar website. The concept was simple: “customers are the boss, and you need to keep them happy.”

The Leon Levine Foundation is one of the largest of its kind in the southeastern United States.

Established in 1980 by Levine and his second wife, Sandra Poliakoff, the foundation supports programs investing in education, health care, human services and Judaism.

A series of scholarships were started in Levine’s name, including at UNC Charlotte. Ironically, the famed philanthropist never finished college.

‘Through their generosity, hundreds of Levine Scholars have had the opportunity to pursue excellence in the classroom, while giving back to the community around them,” Sharon Gaber, the chancellor for UNC Charlotte, said. “UNC Charlotte sends its deepest condolences to Sandra Levine and the entire Levine family as we mourn the passing of a man who helped transform education at our University and has improved the lives of countless Charlotteans.”