Dr. Stanley Pearle, Pearle Vision Founder, Passes Away
Dr. Stanley Pearle, 92, founder of Pearle Vision, died peacefully at home on Thursday, July 21, 2011 in Dallas, TX surrounded by family and friends.
Perhaps best remembered by the iconic jingle, "Nobody cares for eyes more than Pearle,” Dr. Stanley Pearle built the foundation of his business around what he called a "culture of friendly service.” By combining quality eye care, friendly service and savvy marketing strategy, Pearle became a nationally recognized brand name and the first optical retailer in America to sell eyewear coast-to-coast.
"Dr. Stanley Pearle was our patriarch and we’ll honor his legacy the way we always have – by remaining committed to the ideals and service excellence he built the Pearle Vision brand upon from the very beginning,” said Seth McLaughlin, executive vice president and general manager of Pearle Vision.
Dr. Pearle founded Pearle Optical in 1961 with a single store in Savannah, Georgia. In 1981 Pearle began offering franchises, and in that same year he established the Pearle Vision Foundation – a non-profit now known as the OneSight® Research Foundation. The OneSight Research Foundation supports eye health research and invests in students pursuing a Doctor of Optometry degree via the Dr. Stanley Pearle Scholarship Fund. Since its inception in 2007 the fund has awarded a total of $140,000 in scholarships to 70 students.
The OneSight Research Foundation is an arm of OneSight, a family of vision care programs dedicated to providing vision care and eyewear to those in need around the world and here at home. To date, OneSight has helped more than 8 million people receive quality, free eye care and eyeglasses. Philanthropic efforts were close to Dr. Pearle’s heart and outside of the work he did for the OneSight Research Foundation he devoted his time and leadership efforts to the United Way and Jewish Welfare Foundation.
More than 40 years and 675 company and franchise stores later, Pearle Vision remains a trusted household name with locations across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Pearle Vision is wholly owned by Luxottica Group, the Milan-based NYSE-listed leader in premium fashion, luxury and sports eyewear.
"I am honored to represent the Pearle Vision franchise community in remembering our founder and mentor, Dr. Stanley Pearle,” said Frank D. Plumb, chairman, Pearle Vision National Franchise Advisory Council. "He was a vibrant man with an amazing memory and a caring heart. He saw me once a year along with 300 other franchisees at the Pearle Vision Franchise Convention - he not only remembered my name but never failed to ask about my family. It was this caring attitude that shaped his career and our success as the largest optical franchise system in the world. He asked us to be the best in the optical industry and always exhorted us to "take care of the people.” Dr. Pearle took care of his people for 50 years and he will be greatly missed,” added Plumb.
Pittsburgh-native Dr. Pearle graduated from Northern Illinois College of Optometry in 1939 and relocated to Dallas, Texas to take his board examinations and later marry his high school sweetheart, Elsie. He served in the U.S. Navy for a few years and after World War II worked for several eye care companies, rising to a management position with Lee Optical in Dallas. Eager to start his own business he left the company in 1961 to found his first store.
Dr. Pearle is survived by three of his four children, 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in his memory to the OneSight Research Foundation to benefit the Dr. Stanley Pearle Scholarship Fund:
Trina Parasiliti, Administrator
OneSight Research Foundation
2465 Joe Field Road
Dallas, TX 75229
Electronic donations can be facilitated here: https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/OneSight/OnlineDonation.html
Luxottica Group S.p.A.
Luxottica Group is a leader in premium fashion, luxury and sports eyewear, with approximately 7,000 optical and sun retail stores in North America, Asia-Pacific, China, South Africa, Latin America and Europe and a strong and well balanced brand portfolio. Luxottica’s key house brands include Ray-Ban, the best known sun eyewear brand in the world, Oakley, Vogue, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Arnette and REVO, while license brands include Bvlgari, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Tiffany and Versace. In addition to a global wholesale network covering 130 countries, the Group manages leading retail brands such as LensCrafters and Pearle Vision in North America, OPSM and Laubman & Pank in Australasia, LensCrafters in Greater China, GMO in Latin America and Sunglass Hut globally. The Group’s products are designed and manufactured in six Italy-based manufacturing plants, two wholly-owned plants in China and a sports sunglass production facility in the U.S. In 2010, Luxottica Group posted consolidated net sales of approximately €5.8 billion. Additional information on the Group is available at www.luxottica.com.