In Memorium: Entrepreneurs Who Died in 2009

AP Photo/Indianapolis Star, Matt Kryger
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Melvin Simon, Co-founder of Simon Property Group

Following his discharge from the Army, Simon got a job as a leasing agent for suburban shopping malls. He eventually went out on his own and invented a strategy that is now common practice among mall owners: to attract big tenants like department stores with a lowered rent in order to secure funding from a bank. He then charged the other stores proportionally more in rent. Another innovation of his was to add movie theaters to his malls after noticing that their parking lots were languishing, empty in the evenings. His company had its IPO in 1993 and, today, it owns malls around the globe. He also owned the Indiana Pacers.