About a week ago a colleague and I were discussing Les Schwab and how we’d cover his death. I didn’t know then that the Oregon tire tycoon was in failing health. A few days later he died. This other editor and I had the same reaction: call the newsroom and lobby to get the story on Page 1. It was the right call.
Schwab was truly a ubiquitous icon of retail in the West. He’s up there with Meier & Frank, Fred Meyer and Nordstrom – all Northwest retailers who built their stores into empires. But with more than 410 outlets and 7,700 employees today, Schwab stood atop the tire heap.