WASHINGTONThe Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Inc. has selected Bruce Halle, founder and chairman of Discount Tire/America's Tire, as a member.
Mr. Halle is one of a dozen accomplished business and civic leaders from across North America to be so honored. They will be inducted into the organization April 9-11 at the 68th Annual Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington.
The association, which describes itself as a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, cited Mr. Halle's instinctive entrepreneurial spirit.
We honor his determination and drive as much as we honor his professional success and philanthropic generosity, said Tony Novelly, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association and 2000 Horatio Alger Award recipient. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Halle as a lifetime member, and we have every confidence that his life story will serve to inspire our scholars for years to come.
Since its establishment in 1947, the Horatio Alger Award is bestowed annually upon renowned leaders who have succeeded, despite facing adversity, and who are committed to both philanthropy and higher education.
In accepting the honor, Mr. Halle said, To be part of such an esteemed group of leaders is both deeply humbling and deeply gratifying. I learned hard work from my father who struggled through the Depression to support our family.
His work ethic has always served as an inspiration to me, and I believe that my success is rooted in his outstanding example. I look forward to helping the association perpetuate its mission of preserving the American dreama dream that I have been lucky enough to liveamong its scholars.
Mr. Halle was born in Springfield, Mass., to hard-working parents who taught him the value of perseverance from a young age, the associaton said. During the Great Depression, his father worked as a security guard at a wartime production plant to support Mr. Halle and his six siblings.
Inspired by his father's determination to succeed, Mr. Halle delivered newspapers, developed photographs, cut grass and dug graves to help support his family during his childhood.
In 1948, Mr. Halle enrolled at Eastern Michigan University (EMU), but left to join the Marines so that he could serve his country in the Korean War. Upon the completion of his military service, he returned to EMU to finish his degree in business administration, and after graduation, tried his hand at selling insurance.
Mr. Halle then joined a high school friend in a wholesale tire, battery and accessories business, and despite the fact that the business failed, he knew he had found his passion.
In 1960, he opened the first Discount Tire store in Ann Arbor, Mich. In the beginning, Mr. Halle was the company's purchasing agent, accountant, salesman, service technician, cleaning crew and sign painter.
He built his business one tire sale at a time, and 54 years later, Discount Tire is the largest independent tire dealership in the world with sales exceeding $4.2 billion. It has twice been voted Arizona's Most Admired Company.
A philanthropist, Mr. Halle supports a variety of causes, including the Halle Heart Center, Special Olympics, Arizona State University (ASU) Cancer Center, Childhelp USA and more.
Wanting to give back to his alma mater EMU, Mr. Halle made the largest individual gift ever received by the schoola $1.5 million endowment. The campus library now bears his nameBruce T. Halle Library.
The Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation supports organizations that address homelessness, hunger, health, medical research and education. Through the foundation, a scholarship program has been established that allows every child of a Discount Tire employee the opportunity to attend college.
The Horatio Alger Association administers one of the largest privately funded scholarship programs for students in the U.S. and Canada. Scholarships are funded through private donations from members, life partners and friends; the association has provided more than $100 million since 1984 to promising students in need.
More information about the Horatio Alger Association and a full list of its Class of 2015 can be found online at www.horatioalger.org.