Feb. 1, 2014
R.G. Barry Corporation (NASDAQ: DFZ)
Chairman of the Board Gordon B. Zacks, the globe-trotting businessman, author and lecturer who grew the small company founded by his parents into the world's largest developer and marketer of soft, washable slippers, died today at his
home following a brief illness. He was 80.
Mr. Zacks joined his family's business in 1955 after attending
and graduating from The
Ohio State University
. He joined the Board of Directors in 1959 and was named company president in 1965. He added the roles of chairman of the board and chief executive officer to his resume in 1979. Following retirement from his day-to-day management roles in 2004, he was named the Company's non-executive chairman of the board, a post held until his death.
"Gordon lived an amazing life and faced each day and every challenge with a passion and joy that infected all those around him," said RG Barry President and Chief Executive Officer
. "He was a sharing mentor to many, including me. His entrepreneurial spirit, vision and guidance will be sorely missed by all who knew and worked with him."
Recognized as an authority on the qualities of leadership, Mr. Zacks was a frequently sought after speaker and conducted leadership seminars globally, including at
of Government and Business School;
of Business at OSU; The George Bush Presidential Library Center for at
; the Fox School of Business at
; and TED X at
He was author of two books. 2006's
Defining Moments – Stories of Character, Courage, and Leadership
in which he profiled remarkable leaders who have made the world a better place through character, courage, and leadership and the soon to be published
in which he addressed the end of life.
Throughout his life, Mr. Zacks was active in many local, state and national and international charitable, political and religious endeavors.