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Gary Comer (1927–October 4, 2006) was the founder of mail order and clothing retailer Lands' End.


Early life

Born on the South Side of Chicago, Comer graduated from the Paul Revere School in 1942. Comer originally was a copywriter at Young & Rubicam in Chicago. Being an avid sailor from childhood, after 10 years of copywriting with Young & Rubicam, he decided to begin his own business relating primarily to sailing supplies and equipment in Chicago.

Lands' End

Comer founded (with other individuals) Lands' End, originally as a retailer of sailing supplies and equipment, in 1963 (following an initial mail order equipment business began in 1962). Comer ran Lands' End (including following its registration as a public company) as President through 1990, when he stepped down from active management. He remained a major shareholder through 2002, when Lands' End was acquired by Sears.


Comer was a long-time philanthropist, donating money to causes including children's health care, education and the study of global climate change. Comer was a major contributor to the University of Chicago, providing more than $84 million in donations leading to the establishment and expansion of the Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago.


Comer succumbed to cancer on October 4, 2006 at his home surrounded by his family.


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