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Herbert Haft

Herbert Haft
Born (1920-08-24)August 24, 1920
United States
Died September 1, 2004(2004-09-01) (aged 84)
United States
Occupation Businessman
Children Robert Haft

Herbert H. Haft (August 24, 1920 – September 1, 2004) was a Washington, D.C. based businessman who was famous first for the development of discount stores in the drug store, bookstore, and auto part businesses, and later as a corporate raider.


  • Biography 1
  • Antitrust case 2
  • Family feud 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Haft grew up in Dart Drug discount store in 1955 in Washington, which he sold in 1984 at which time the chain had 75 stores. He also founded (with family members) Crown Books (which was led by son Robert Haft), Trak Auto, Combined Properties,[1] and Total Beverage, and acquired part of Shoppers Food Warehouse.

Haft's Dart Group earned $250 million through greenmail and stock sales during unsuccessful takeover attempts of retailers Safeway and Stop & Shop. In the 1990s he was involved in widely publicized conflict with his sons Ronald and Robert Haft, and wife Gloria Haft over control of the Dart Group, a family business.

In a 1986 speech to a group of

In 1998, Total Beverage was sold to Total Wine & More and the remainder of Dart Group, except Crown Books, was purchased by Richfood, a grocery distributor for $200 million. Richfood quickly sold Trak Auto to a Tennessee investment group. Crown Books filed for bankruptcy, and limped along on private investment until its closure in 2001.

In 1999, Herbert Haft launched HealthQuick, an online pharmacy, while his son Robert launched HealthQuick failed by 2001.

Herbert Haft died from heart disease on September 1, 2004, at a Washington D.C. hospital.[2]

Antitrust case

In a famous antitrust case, Parke-Davis & Co., threatened to stop supplying Haft's Dart Drug because of its discounts to customers, a court case that went to the United States Supreme Court, which found in favor of the retailer and against the supplier.

Family feud

He and his family were engaged in a long-standing and bitter feud[3] that culminated in his deathbed marriage to Myrna C. Ruben and the exclusion of his children from his will.[4]


  1. ^ "Overview - Combined Properties". Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Herbert Haft, 84; Built and Lost a Business Empire". Los Angeles Times. 3 September 2004. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Caroline E. Mayer (2004-09-08). "Son Sued Haft to Get $2 Million". Washington Post. pp. B01. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  4. ^ Michael Ruane, Caroline E. Mayer, Carol Leonnig (2004-10-10). "Family feud reaches beyond grave". Washington Post. pp. C01. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 

External links

  • Dart Group Corporation, FundingUniverse
  • Broken In Haft, Time Magazine, August 23, 1993 By John Greenwald;Tresa Chambers/New York & Ellen Germain/Washington
  • Discount visionary Haft dies from heart disease, Drug Store News, September 27, 2004 by James Frederick.
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