In reading "United They Stand" (FYI, March), I noticed an unintentionally humorous error. Even if the association was continuous, which it wasn't, it would have been very difficult for Richard Sears to have experienced a "45-year" partnership with A. C. Roebuck, since Sears died at age 51, according to Webster's Biographical Dictionary.

In fact, Roebuck was never really Sears's partner, but was actually his subordinate. Sears's only significant partner was Julius Rosenwald, who, with his brother-in-law, in effect bought Roebuck's 25% interest in Sears, Roebuck in 1895 for only $75,000. The brother-in-law was bought out in the early years of the century; the business really blossomed under Rosenwald's brilliant guidance. After Rosenwald bought out Sears for a mere $10 million in 1909, he built it into the giant operation we know today.