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J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

Stanley Marcus

Stanley Marcus (1905-2002) personified the idea of public virtue. As CEO of Neiman Marcus, he pioneered the notion that an innovative retailer can succeed with an abiding commitment to the highest standards of customer service. As a child playing amid display cases and clothing, he became familiar with the store that his father, Herbert, and aunt and uncle, Carrie Marcus Neiman and Al Neiman, founded in 1907. Stanley Marcus joined Neiman Marcus in 1926 as secretary, treasurer, and director. 

Mr. Marcus worked tirelessly to enhance the cultural and educational climate of Dallas. He served as director and president of the Dallas Citizens Council, co-chairman for the Dallas Interracial Council for Business Opportunity, and a member of the Commission of Race and Housing. In addition, Mr. Marcus was president of the Dallas Symphony Society and the Dallas Art Association and served as a member of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce and the Dallas Council on World Affairs.

Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Marcus displayed moral courage by involving himself in public activities that were unpopular or under political attack, even when parties threatened to boycott his store or take other intimidating actions. Whether controversy focused on art, politics, poverty, or prejudice, Mr. Marcus’s voice of reason rose above the clamor.