CEO of Whitehall Jewellers Dies

April 1, 2005

CEO of Whitehall Jewellers Dies

Hugh Patinkin, chairman and CEO of Whitehall Jewellers died of a heart attack March 30. He was 54.

Whitehall's board of directors named Daniel H. Levy, board director, as interim chairman and Lucinda M. Baier as interim CEO. Whitehall announced it would delay the announcement of its fourth-quarter and fiscal year. It had planned to announce on April 5.

Patinkin was the grandson and namesake of one of the company's founders, Hugo Marks, says the Chicago Sun-Times. Marks' uncle, Ben Roth, operated a jewelry store on State Street in Chicago's Loop 100 years ago. Marks took over the store and, with his brother, Al Marks, reopened it as Marks Bros. Jewelers, the predecessor to Whitehall Jewellers.

Patinkin earned a law degree from the University of Chicago, and practiced law for about four years with Sidley Austin Brown & Wood before joining the family business in 1979.

When Patinkin joined Whitehall, there were 10 stores and under his leadership the company grew to 384 stores in 38 states. Whitehall operates stores in regional and superregional shopping malls under the names Whitehall Co. Jewellers, Lundstrom Jewelers, and Marks Bros. Jewelers.

Patinkin is reportedly survived by his wife, Sheila; four children; brothers Mark, Douglas, Matthew and Nick, and parents, Hal and June Patinkin. Funeral services were held April 1.

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