Bloomfield Hills, Mich. — A. Alfred Taubman, founder of Taubman Centers, died Friday, April 17 at his home in Michigan, aged 91.
Taubman was born in Pontiac, Michigan, in 1924. In his younger years he sold shoes and did construction while studying architecture at the University of Michigan. In 1950, he borrowed $5,000 to build and rent out a store. By 1953, he owned several shopping centers.
Taubman later developed the Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey, the Queens Center in New York, Woodfield Center near Chicago and Fairlane Town Center near Detroit, eventually expanding to 20 malls nationwide. Taubman was able to persuade major retailers to tenant these malls — Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Marshall Field’s — as well as designer shops such as Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton. He promoted the mall as a place to shop as much as it was a place to socialize and spend time with family.
In addition to his wife, Judith Mazor, and his son Robert, chairman, president and CEO of Taubman Centers, Taubman is survived by a son, William; a daughter, Gayle Kalisman; two stepchildren, Christopher Rounick and Tiffany Dubin; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.