Biographies > 21 Emigrants

Levi Strauss -
A Bavarian-American Success Story

(detailed biography as PDF file)

1829 Levi Strauss is born Loeb Strauss in Buttenheim, Franconia

1847 After the death of her husband Hirsch Strauss, Levi's mother Rebecca Strauss emigrates to New York with her three youngest children Maila, Vögela and Loeb. Two of her elder sons, Jonathan and Lippmann, have alreadady moved there.
Loeb changes his name to Levi and begins studying business.

1853 Levi Strauss becomes an American citizen and goes to San Francisco. He opens a haberdashery and textile store together with his brother Louis (Lippmann) and his brother-in-law David Stern.

1872 Jacob Davis, a tailor from Reno and a customer of Strauss, tells him about a method of strengthening trousers with copper rivets, and suggests that he and Levi Strauss apply jointly for the patenting and financing.

1873 The trousers are patented, and Davis comes to San Francisco, where the highly popular "waist overalls" are being manufactured. Two factories are built, and run by Davis

1890 The "Levi Strauss" company becomes a registered corporation run by the four nephews. Levi Strauss retires from the day-to-day running of the firm.

1902 Levi Strauss dies, bequeathing the company to his four nephews.

In his will he leaves money to numerous charities, foundations and orphanages, and also the University of California.
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