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Category: business

Mark Haines, host of CNBC's 'Squawk on the Street,' dies at 65

Mark Haines, co-anchor of CNBC's morning "Squawk on the Street" show, died unexpectedly on Tuesday evening, the network said from New York. He was 65.

The network said he died in his home. It did not specify the cause of death.

Haines worked at CNBC for 22 years after working as a news anchor at TV stations in Philadelphia, New York and Providence, R.I.

He was the founding anchor of CNBC's "Squawk Box" morning show. In 2005, he started co-anchoring "Squawk in the Morning," a 9 to 11 a.m. show, with Erin Burnett, while "Squawk Box" was pushed to an earlier slot. Burnett recently left CNBC to host a general news show on CNN.

CNBC President Mark Hoffman said Haines was "always the unflappable pro."

"He was an authentic voice in business media," said Eric Jackson, who runs the hedge fund Ironfire Capital. "He resonated with so many people because he would speak out, and with opinion. Too often the media lets the corporate PR army and highly trained CEOs get their points across without question. He wouldn't let that happen."

Barry Ritholtz, head of the research firm Fusion IQ and a frequent guest on CNBC, said Haines was "a no-nonsense straight shooter. He knew what questions to ask and how to ask them."

Ritholtz said that the biggest complaint about CNBC in the 1990s was that its anchors cheered on the stock-market bubble. He said the exception was Haines, who was always skeptical.

"He was trained as an attorney," Ritholtz said. "He brought that keen lawyer's eye to everything he did. It wasn't something often seen in the financial media."

Haines had a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and was a member of the New Jersey State Bar Assn., CNBC said.

Haines is also remembered for calling a bottom to the stock market decline on March 10, 2009, his first call of the recession. The Dow Jones Industrial Average never closed below its level of March 9.

Haines is survived by his wife, Cindy, his son, Matt, and daughter, Meredith.

CNBC said funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

-- Associated Press

Murray Handwerker of Nathan's Famous hot dogs dies at 89

Murray Handwerker, who helped grow Nathan's Famous from his father's Coney Island hot dog stand into a national franchise, died Saturday at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He was 89.

Handwerker had suffered from dementia and died in his sleep, said his son, Bill.

Handwerker's father, Nathan, opened the Coney Island stand in 1916, four years after emigrating from Poland. Murray was born on July 25, 1921, and spent so much time in the restaurant that he said he came to regard the frankfurter bun boxes as his playpen.

He worked in nearly every aspect of the business, from stacking pallets of hot dogs to manning the grill. As a teenager, Murray Handwerker told his son, he sometimes worked at the grill so long his body had trouble recovering.

"His fingers started flapping like he was using the pincher when he came home from the store," Bill Handwerker said.

Seeing the appeal Nathan's had, Handwerker returned from the Army during World War II with a broader world view and new ideas on expanding the business.

He offered franchises. He led the company to go public. And he put its hot dogs on supermarket shelves across the country.

Handwerker sold the company to private investors in 1987.

-- Associated Press


Leo Kahn, who co-founded Staples, dies at 94

Leo Kahn, who co-founded Staples and helped start the age of "big box" retail stores, died Wednesday in Boston. He was 94.

Kahn first made his name in the grocery business in New England. He started Staples with a former competitor, Tom Stemberg, after they decided in 1985 to go into business together.

At the time, there were no office-supply superstores. Kahn and Stemberg toured different types of stores each Friday afternoon and one day during a trip to warehouse clubs, they noticed an abundance of office supplies on sale.

"I said to Leo, 'Let's do a Home Depot or Toys R Us for office products,' " Stemberg said. "He said, 'Let's go open a store.' "

Stemberg became chief executive and Kahn, in his late 60s at the time, chairman. They started the chain the next year with investments from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and investment firm Bain Capital.

While smaller rivals OfficeMax and Office Depot sprung up quickly, Staples has remained the largest and best performing office-supply retailer, with revenue of $24.55 billion and 1,900 stores at the end of 2010.

Kahn was born in Medford, Mass. He served in World War II and went to Harvard College, and Columbia University's School of Journalism.

At Staples, Stemberg said it was Kahn's idea to put merchandise that caters to the office manager — the person most likely to be out buying office supplies — at the front of the store to "make it fun to shop."

"He was always into the people side of things," Stemberg said. For example, he came up with the idea to have a meeting every month with all of Staples' employees to listen to their ideas.

"That vision survives today with 80,000 employees," said Stemberg. "That's Leo."

-- Associated Press

Jess Jackson, Kendall-Jackson founder and thoroughbred owner, dies at 81

Jess Jackson, the founder of the Kendall-Jackson winery and a prominent thoroughbred owner, died of cancer Thursday at his home in Geyserville, Calif. He was 81.

Caroline Shaw, a spokeswoman for Jackson Family Wines, confirmed Jackson's death.

In recent years, Jackson was one of horse racing's leading owners. He campaigned two-time horse of the year Curlin, and then purchased a majority interest in Rachel Alexandra, the sensational filly who was horse of the year in 2009.

As a California vintner, Jackson built a multimillion-dollar empire on chardonnay with his popular Kendall-Jackson brand before moving into the racehorse business with his Stonestreet Stable.

A letter on his company's website ended by asking friends to "take a moment this week to lift a glass and join us in a toast to our friend and founder Jess Jackson."

More later at


Bill Dwyre: New breed of owner is just what horse racing needs

-- Associated Press

Photo: Jess Jackson in 2005. Credit: Los Angeles Times


Designer Bijan Pakzad dies

BijanBijan Pakzad, an Iranian American designer of jewelry, fragrances and luxury menswear who ran a Beverly Hills boutique and was renowned as clothier to some of the world’s most powerful men, died Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his family said.

Pakzad was 67, his family said.

He suffered a stroke while working Thursday and was rushed to the hospital but never recovered, said his son, Nicolas Bijan Pakzad, 19. He said his father once named a fragrance DNA in honor of his three children, Daniela, Nicolas and Alexandra.

“He’s dressed over 40,000 clients,” Nicolas Pakzad said, including Presidents Carter, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama. “We have a picture of all five living presidents wearing his suits.” He said his father recently traveled to Washington, D.C., for an event honoring George H.W. Bush, whom he counted as a friend.

Pakzad was born April 4, 1944, according to his family, although some public records list the year of his birth as 1940.

He was born to affluence in Iran, went to a boarding school in Switzerland and moved to the United States in 1971. He opened House of Bijan, his by-appointment-only boutique on Rodeo Drive, five years later. He put his own image on billboard ads, attached his signature to the lining of jackets and was often referred to only by his first name. He offered exclusivity and, rather than apologize for staggering prices, made them a selling point, boasting in one ad that he sold “the costliest men’s wear in the world.”

“I am not a mass designer,” he told The Times in 2003, at a time when sales of his fragrance lines, clothes and custom jewelry reportedly totaled more than $70 million annually. “What was important to me was not to have 2 million clients, like Versace, but to have 20,000 clients.” He said he had invoices reflecting clients who spent $800,000 on a single visit to his boutique.

“Journalists don’t understand, because what I do is outrageous,” Pakzad said. “They wonder, who can pay so much money for clothes? They think my customers must be Mafioso or something. Most people would not believe the way my clients live.”

Pakzad was not shy about acknowledging an outsize ego. “With my ego, I would have been successful anyplace, but America gave me the opportunity to show my taste,” he told The Times.

In a 2001 book about marketing, “Brand Slam,” brand analyst Frank Delano noted the savvy behind Pakzad’s approach. “Bijan is the artist and thinker behind his brand,” Delano wrote. “His appearance in magazine ads reminds his customers that they’re getting a signed Bijan, not a product from his studio.”

 A full obituary will follow at

-- Christopher Goffard

 Photo: Bijan Pakzad in 1988. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Automotive journalism pioneer David E. Davis Jr. dies at 80

David E. Davis Jr., the founder of Automobile Magazine, who is considered a pioneer in automotive journalism, died Sunday at an Ann Arbor, Mich., hospital of complications from bladder cancer surgery. He was 80.

Called the dean of automotive journalism by Time magazine, Davis split from rival Car and Driver to start Automobile in 1985 with financial backing from media mogul Rupert Murdoch. He had been editor of Car and Driver twice, moving its operations from New York to Ann Arbor.

Davis changed the auto magazine business when he started Automobile with thick paper stock and full-color photography, according to the magazine.

"These magazines were not supposed to be trade journals," said Joe DeMatio, deputy editor of Automobile Magazine. "They were celebrations of the automobile, but with a keen awareness of the industry.

"He was very opinionated and did not hesitate to ruffle feathers, even if they were those of his own bosses."

Ford Motor Co. Executive Vice President Mark Fields said Monday in a statement that Davis' opinions as a journalist were respected.

"His deep knowledge of the automobile business was matched only by his ability to tell engaging stories," Fields said.

Davis attended Michigan's Olivet College and later sold Volkswagens and men's clothing. He also spent time on an auto assembly line, DeMatio wrote Sunday on the magazine's website.

--Associated Press



Paul Baran, who played role in development of Internet, dies at 84

Paul Baran, whose work with packaging data in the 1960s has been credited with playing a role in the later development of the Internet, has died. He was 84.

Baran died at his home in Palo Alto on Saturday night of complications from lung cancer, said his son, David.

Baran is best known for the idea of "packet-switching," in which data is bundled into small packages and sent through a network. Baran outlined the concept while working on Cold War issues for the Rand Corp. in Santa Monica in 1963 and 1964.

In 1969, the technology became a concept the Department of Defense used in creating the Arpanet, the precursor to the Internet, numerous reports on the subject said.

The idea had been so advanced at its development that private companies had passed on it.

President George W. Bush presented him with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2008. A year earlier, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame.

Baran's method of moving data was designed to function after a nuclear attack. Because there were no centralized switches and bundles of data could simply find a new route if one weren't working, the system could still work even if much of it were destroyed, the Rand Corp. said on its website.

He called the process "message blocks." Donald Davies of Britain independently developed a similar system and his term, "packet-switching," would eventually be adopted, Rand said.

It would be decades before the social and commercial possibilities of the technology would become clear, and Baran would miss out on a lot of the money and glory that came with it, but he was happy to live to see it happen, his son said.

"He was a man of infinite patience," David Baran said.

Paul Baran was born in Grodno, Poland, in 1926 and his family moved to the United States when he was 2 years old, according to the Rand website.

We'll have more later at

-- Associated Press



Harry Wesley Coover Jr., considered the inventor of super glue, dies at 94

CooverHarry Wesley Coover Jr., known as the inventor of super glue, has died. He was 94.

Coover died Saturday at his home in Kingsport, Tenn, said his grandson, Adam Paul of South Carolina. No cause was given.

Coover was working for Tennessee Eastman Co., a division of Eastman Kodak, when an accident helped lead to the popular adhesive being discovered, Paul said. An assistant was distressed that some new prisms were ruined when they were glued together by the substance.

Coover and another researcher recognized the potential for the strong adhesive, and it was first sold in 1958, according to the Super Glue Corp.'s website.

Cyanoacrylate, the chemical name for the glue, was first uncovered in 1942 in a search for materials to make clear plastic gun sights for World War II. But the compound stuck to everything, which is why it was rejected by researchers, according to the website.

Coover was born in Newark, Del., and received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Hobart College in New York in 1941. He earned a master's degree in 1942 and a doctorate in 1944, both from Cornell University.

He worked his way up to vice president of the chemical division for development for Eastman Kodak. Coover and the team of chemists he worked with became prolific patent holders, with more than 460.

Coover was awarded a National Medal of Technology and Innovation last year by President Obama.

--Associated Press

Photo: Harry Coover at his home in 2004. Credit: Associated Press 

Joseph Flom, pioneer of mergers and acquisitions, dies at 87

Joseph Flom, the last surviving original partner of law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and an architect of the modern mergers-and-acquisitions business, has died. He was 87.


He died Wednesday, the New York-based firm said in a news release. The cause was heart failure.

Flom was "a giant in the takeover field, perhaps the single most important force in the game during the 1970s and 1980s," Robert Slater wrote in his 1999 book, "The Titans of Takeover."

So feared was he "that arbitragers were eager to know which side Joe Flom was on whenever a takeover was announced," Slater wrote. Some firms even paid him a retainer to make sure he wouldn’t end up challenging them, a practice that became known as the "Joe Flom protection policy."

Flom helped orchestrate Ron Perelman’s 1985 takeover of Revlon and ABC’s sale to Capital Cities. In 2005, he advised May Department Stores Co. in its $11-billion merger with Federated Department Stores Inc. Three years later, Flom advised Anheuser-Busch Cos. when it was bought for $52 billion by the Belgian brewer InBev NV.

"Joe made an indelible impression on the legal profession that will live on forever," Martin Lipton of Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz said Wednesday in a statement. "A giant has departed from our midst."

Lipton and Flom together pioneered legal maneuvers in hostile takeovers in the 1980s, the original heyday of modern M&A activity, when a lot of the rules were being developed, said Larry Hamermesh, a Widener University law professor who specializes in Delaware corporate law. Lipton typically worked defense and Flom often worked offense.

"I remember then as having a sense of him as a legendary figure because of his extraordinary prominence in takeover tactics and litigation," said Hamermesh, who met Flom in the late 1980s. "He was certainly at the top of the game back then."

Joseph Harold Flom was born Dec. 21, 1923, in Baltimore, the son of a union organizer and a housewife from Russia, his son Peter L. Flom said this month in a post on the website Daily Kos. He was raised in Brooklyn and attended City College of New York before enlisting in the U.S. Army.

Flom never completed his undergraduate studies. He was accepted at Harvard Law School, which he attended under the G.I. Bill, and served as editor of the Law Review before graduating in 1948 and joining Skadden Arps as its first associate. Flom knew from childhood that he wanted to be a lawyer and graduated 23rd in his class, Peter Flom wrote.

"But when he got out, he couldn’t get a job at a ‘good’ firm -- they didn’t hire Jews," Peter Flom said. "So he joined a small firm with three partners."

Flom specialized in mergers and proxy contests when few major law firms did, Bruce Wasserstein, one of the pioneering investment bankers in M&A, wrote in his 1998 book "Big Deal."

Flom’s defining moment may have come in 1974 when he helped International Nickel Co. of Canada complete a hostile takeover of Electric Storage Battery, then the world’s largest battery maker.

Previously, hostile deals were rare and not a legal specialty. By the 1980s, the practice had become significant for law firms like Skadden Arps and banks such as Goldman Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley.

The law firm "earned a reputation for being willing to take the gloves off for its clients," Wasserstein wrote.

Survivors include his wife, Judi; two sons, Jason and Peter; and a daughter, Nancy Laing. His first wife, Claire, died in 2007.

-- Bloomberg News


Kenneth Olsen, computer pioneer who co-founded Digital Equipment Corp., dies at 84

Olsen Kenneth Olsen, a computer industry pioneer and co-founder of Digital Equipment Corp., died Sunday. He was 84.

His death was announced by Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., where he was a trustee and benefactor. The college did not release a cause of death.

DEC, which Olsen launched in 1957, is considered an icon in technology circles today. The company attracted top engineers and helped usher in a technology revolution that changed the way people interact with computers.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Digital played a central role in creating a market for "minicomputers," powerful, refrigerator-sized machines that appealed to scientists, engineers and other number-crunchers who did not need the bigger, multimillion-dollar mainframes used by large corporations. At its peak in the 1980s, DEC was the second-largest computer maker behind IBM.

"In the heady days of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, it's too easy to forget that it was Ken Olsen's vision of interactivity that took computing away from the centralized mainframe and into the hands of the people," said Gordon Bell, who joined DEC in 1960 and headed the company's engineering operations for more than 20 years.

Ultimately, DEC lost its way in the Internet-era transformations of the technology industry, which shrank computers down to pocket-sized gadgets that people carry wherever they go. And Olsen is still remembered for his 1977 prediction: "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home." He later insisted the quote was taken out of context and that he simply meant he could not envision a day when computers would run people's lives.

Born in Bridgeport, Conn., Olsen grew up in the neighboring town of Stratford. His father designed machine tools and Olsen and his brothers spent hours tinkering with gadgets in the family basement. After being drafted during World War II, Olsen attended the Navy's electronics school, where he learned how to maintain radar, sonar and navigation systems. He went on to earn undergraduate and master's degrees in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

At MIT, Olsen worked in the university's Lincoln Laboratory, a federally funded research center created in 1951 to develop technology to improve the nation's air-defense system. That technology, powered by MIT's advanced Whirlwind computers, grew into the Air Force's Semi-Automatic Ground Environment defense system, which was used to track and intercept enemy aircraft. One of Olsen's roles at Lincoln Laboratory was to serve as a liaison with IBM, a major contractor on the project. Olsen also worked on Lincoln Lab's TX-2 computer, which helped break new ground in computer-aided drafting.

In 1957, Olsen teamed with MIT colleague Harlan Anderson to start Digital Equipment Corp. with $70,000 from American Research and Development, an early venture-capital firm. The company was headquartered in an old wool mill in Maynard, Mass.

DEC named its first computer the PDP-1, for Programmed Data Processor. But it was the PDP-8, which was introduced in 1965 and became a building block for computer systems made by other companies, that really established minicomputers as a major new industry.

DEC's innovative machines helped bring computers out from glass-enclosed rooms inside big corporations, where they were operated by men in white lab coats, and made them accessible to small and medium-sized operations and even individual users.

"The computers we built were of a cost and size that they brought computing down a level," said Bell, now a principal researcher in Microsoft Corp.’s Silicon Valley Research Group.

DEC computers also trained and influenced many key players in the technology industry. Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen used the PDP-10 to create the first version of the BASIC programming language for a personal computer. And Dave Cutler, who developed several key operating systems for DEC, went on to develop the Windows NT and Azure operating systems for Microsoft.

In 1986, Fortune magazine called Olsen "America's most successful entrepreneur." By the late 1980s, DEC had more than 120,000 employees worldwide. Sales peaked at $14 billion in 1992.

Digital's fortunes began to decline shortly after that '92 peak. The company was late to recognize the growing popularity of smaller personal computers and desktop workstations for business use. DEC also resisted the market's shift away from proprietary technology to open systems, including PCs powered by Intel microprocessors and generic servers running UNIX software.

-- Associated Press

Photo: Kenneth Olsen in 1992. Credit: Associated Press


Aviation pioneer Charles Huron Kaman dies at 91

Charles Huron Kaman, an aviation pioneer who founded Kaman Aerospace Corp., has died. He was 91.

Kaman died Monday, the company said.

Kaman was a 26-year-old engineer when he started Kaman Aircraft Co. in the garage of his mother's Connecticut home in 1945 with $2,000 from two friends. He was chief executive from 1945 to 1999.

He started the company to demonstrate a rotor concept he devised to make helicopters more stable and easier to fly. The company, based in Bloomfield, Conn., has been credited with breakthroughs, including the first gas turbine-powered helicopter, the first twin-turbine-powered helicopter and the first remotely controlled helicopter.

In 1996 President  Clinton awarded Kaman the National Medal of Technology, the nation's highest recognition for contributions to technical excellence. A year later he received the National Aeronautic Assn.'s Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy in recognition of his contributions to American aviation.

--Associated Press

Fashion designer Charles Nolan dies at 53

Nolan Fashion designer Charles Nolan, known to have a passion for American classics, which he skewed with a modern edge and personal touch, died Sunday. He was 53.

Women's Wear Daily, which first reported Nolan's death on its website, said he died of liver cancer. Nolan, also noted for his interest in politics, had battled cancer several years ago, and it came back in the fall and moved aggressively, said Maggie Savage, the vintage buyer for the Charles Nolan store in Manhattan's Meatpacking District.

The store was open Sunday, said Savage, who added that its future was unclear but that she hoped it would continue.

Nolan took a hiatus from the fashion industry in 2003 and worked on former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's presidential campaign.

"He was a wonderful, very matter-of-fact person," Dean told Women's Wear Daily. "For someone who had a tall record in the world of fashion, he was surprisingly unimpressed with his own success."

Nolan returned to the fashion world in 2004 with his own label. The former designer for corporate fashion houses Anne Klein and Ellen Tracy scaled back and put his own spin on everything, down to the furniture in his store and his off-the-beaten-path runway shows. In one recent season, he featured Olympian Dara Torres on the catwalk; the year before that, dancers from the American Ballet Theater were his models.

Nolan graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and apprenticed under Bill Blass and Christian Dior before moving to Ellen Tracy. In 2001, Anne Klein hired him to revive its image as a hipper, more fashion-forward brand.

-- Associated Press

Photo: Charles Nolan, right, in 2002. Credit: Associated Press


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