Doris and Donald Fisher

Some of the entrepreneurs that are out there, the millionaires, you may not recognize them by name, but definitely by their company or products. This is the case with Doris and Donald Fisher. Their name may not be familiar to you but the company they started is Gap. Gap is a clothing line that is as familiar to everyone as Nike or Reebok.

He came into this world in 1928. He married her and together they had threes sons. He attended the University of California at Berkeley. He obtained a bachelor degree in Science. He went into real estate after finishing school at the university, starting out with his father then later as a president of Fisher Property Investment Company. This may have been his life work but an act of fate intervened. He was returning a pair of jeans, when he discovered that the stores did not have much to offer and were not organized. That is when him and his wife had a brainstorm and soon opened up the first Gap store in 1969. He was chairman and CEO.

The Gap started to be for college kids, who could come and try on as many clothes as they wanted, until they found something they liked or that fit well. The store stocked jeans in many different kinds and sizes. They also had a record department but they discontinued it and concentrated on just clothing. A few years later they began to build Gaps outside of California and started using their own labels. They also added clothes like sportswear to the Gap. And soon added some active wear. But by 1991, the Gap declared they would only be carrying their own brand.

By 1983, there were 550 stores. He then bought Banana Republic. Soon he had a chain of these stores also. By 1998, there were almost three hundred of these stores also. At about the same time that he started Banana Republic, he started Gap Kids also. Solely focused on kid’s lines of clothes. In 1990 Baby Gap came along as part of Gap Kids. They opened Old Navy in 1994.

Even though there has been a lot of competition come out though the years. Business continued to boom. And in 1996, the Fishers were featured in Forbes 400 as one of the richest citizens.

In 1995 he stepped down as CEO of Gap. His wife and sons continued to keep a hand in the business. Business and profits of all their different stores continued to prosper, with only a slow period in the early 1990’s. This is when they lowered their prices and business boomed again. Their stores are still known as stores that have great quality clothing at affordable prices.

He passed away just recently in September 2009 of cancer. He left behind his wife, his three sons and ten grandchildren, and 1478 branches of Gap stores.

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