Les Schwab (Les Schwab)

Les Schwab

Businessman. Les Schwab moved with his family to Minnesota in 1919, and returned to Central Oregon in 1929. Orphaned at age 15, and schooled in a railroad boxcar in a Central Oregon logging camp, he went to work as a teenager delivering the Oregon Journal newspaper. He eventually took over all nine routes in Bend. Shortly after graduating from high school he married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Harlan, and took a job as circulation manager at The Bulletin in Bend. Later, during World War II Schwab served with the Army Air Corps. Working out of one shed in his hometown of Prineville, he went on to build a billion-dollar tire empire from the deserts of Central Oregon. Les Schwab Tire Centers grew into one of the nation’s largest independent tire chains. Employing 7,700 people in the more than 410 stores across the West, the company garnered sales of about $1.6 billion in 2006. He was known for his “Free Beef” commercials on television, in which he, in his cowboy hat and with home town demeanor, became one of the most recognizable faces in the Northwest. (bio by: Lynnh)  Family links:  Parents:  Bishop Schwab (1889 – 1933)  Alice Etta Merrill Schwab (1889 – 1933)  Spouse:  Dorothy Jane Harlan Schwab (1917 – ____)*  Children:  Harlan L. Schwab (1940 – 1971)*  Margaret Joyce Schwab Denton (1952 – 2005)*  Siblings:  Evelyn Ruby Schwab Sampels (1914 – 1986)*  Raymond Harold Schwab (1915 – 1986)*  Les Schwab (1917 – 2007)  Joyce Minniebelle Schwab Grokett (1929 – 1982)* *Calculated relationship

More Images

  • Headstone -

  • 22431345_121859263606 -


  • October, 03, 1917
  • USA
  • Bend, Oregon


  • May, 05, 2007
  • USA
  • Prineville, Oregon


  • Juniper Haven Cemetery
  • Prineville, Oregon
  • USA

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