PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Bruce Halle, the wealthiest man in Arizona and founder of Discount Tire, has passed away at the age of 87.
News of Halle's passing was announced by officials at Eastern Michigan University. Halle, according to the statement, was a 1956 graduate of Eastern Michigan University, and an the Bruce T. Halle Endowment Fund, established by Halle and his wife in 2002, supported a number of initiatives on that university's campus.
Halle has also left a mark in the Phoenix area. Gretchen Buglig, CEO of the ASU Foundation for a New American University, said the family are well-known and beloved philanthropists.
Flags at the Discount Tire headquarters were lowered to half-staff Thursday, in honor of Hale.
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Flags lowered to half staff @DiscountTire HQ after reports of the death of its founder, Bruce Halle, at the age of 87 today. Halle was the wealthiest person in Arizona #fox10phoenix pic.twitter.com/EDTfdZOEqQ— Nicole Garcia Fox10 (@Fox10_NicoleG) January 4, 2018
According to Discount Tire's official website, Halle opened his first Discount Tire store in 1960, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, eventually expanding to Arizona in 1970. According to the company's website, Discount Tire now operates over 900 stores in 29 states.
Discount Tire Company is also known for holding the Guinness world record for the longest-running television commercial, which shows an old lady throwing an unwanted tire into the glass window of Discount Tire, with a narrator saying if a customer is not happy with their tires, "please feel free to bring it back".
The commercial first ran in 1975.