In Memorium: Entrepreneurs Who Died in 2009

Don Fisher –– Founder of The Gap
Corbis
1 of 30

Don Fisher, Founder of The Gap

A personal sartorial dilemma—shopping for jeans—prompted Fisher to open his first casual-clothing store in San Francisco with his wife, Doris, in 1969. The company grew fast, went public in 1973, and expanded through a mix of acquisition (Banana Republic) and organic growth (Old Navy.) A breakout "Who Wore Khakis?" advertising campaign in the 1990s cemented The Gap's status as a culture-defining brand. The New York Times observed that, at its peak, The Gap “as ubiquitous as McDonald’s, as centrally managed as the former Soviet Union and as American as Mickey Mouse.” In his later years, Fisher became a preeminent collector of contemporary art, much of its on display in The Gap's San Francisco headquarters.