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Justin Dart

AKA Justin Whitlock Dart

Born: 17-Aug-1907
Birthplace: Evanston, IL
Died: 26-Jan-1984
Cause of death: Heart Failure

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Business

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Drug store magnate

Justin Dart married the daughter of drug store magnate Charles Walgreen, and was hired by his father-in-law ostensibly as a sales clerk. He was quickly promoted, however, and within three years he was Walgreen's Director of Store Operations. One of his key moves was rearranging the stores' interiors, so that the soda fountain was never adjacent to the laxatives, ointments, and creams. The bottom line improved, but in 1939, as Walgreen was approaching death, Dart was named second in command to Walgreen's son. He chaffed at being #2 and soon divorced his wife and quit the company.

The following year Dart was named Vice President of United Drug Company, and placed in charge of Ligget Drug, a subsidiary chain. The next year he was made United's President, and soon converted another United subsidiary, Rexall Drug, into one of America's largest and most profitable chains. To blow off steam, Dart would occasionally fire his pistol into a stack of telephone books in his office. He headed United Drug as it evolved into United-Rexall and later Dart Industries, and he retired when the firm merged with Kraft Foods as Dart & Kraft. His second wife was movie starlet Jane Bryan, who had frequently worked opposite then-actor Ronald Reagan. The Darts and Reagans became close friends, and Dart was a key financial and philosophical backer, and member of Reagan's "kitchen cabinet" inner circle of advisors. Dart's son was noted civil rights advocate Justin Dart, Jr.

Father: Guy Justin Dart
Mother: Laura Case Whitlock Dart
Wife: Ruth Walgreen Dart Stephan (dau. of Charles Walgreen, m. 1929, div. 1939, two sons)
Son: Justin Whitlock Dart, Jr. (disability rights advocate, b. 1930, d. 2002)
Son: Peter Whitlock Dart (b. circa 1932, d. 1988)
Wife: Jane O'Brien Dart ("Jane Bryan", b. 11-Jun-1918, m. 1940, two sons, one daughter)
Son: Guy Michael Dart (b. circa 1940)
Daughter: Jane Dart Campbell (b. circa 1942)
Son: Stephen Dart (b. circa 1950)

    High School: Hinsdale High School, Hinsdale, IL
    High School: Mercersburg Academy (1925)
    University: BA, Northwestern University (1929)

    Presidential Medal of Freedom 1987 (posthumous)
    Dart Industries President (1943-80)
    United Drug Company Vice President (1941-43)
    Ligget Drug Company President (1941-42)
    Walgreens Sales clerk to Director of Store Operations (1930-40)


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