Bruce Halle receives the Horatio Alger Award
Bruce Halle, founder and chairman of Discount Tire, has been named a Horatio Alger Award winner for 2015. He was selected for membership by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Inc.
Halle joins 11 other accomplished business and civic leaders from across North America in receiving the honor in 2015. They will be formally inducted as members at the association's 68th Annual Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C.annual three-day event, which will be held in Washington, D.C., in April 2015. April 9-11, 2015.
Halle’s selection by the Association not only honors his outstanding professional achievements, but also the perseverance he has displayed throughout his life. Inspired by his father’s determination to succeed, he delivered newspapers, developed photographs, cut grass and dug graves to help support his family during his childhood.
In 1948, he enrolled at Eastern Michigan University (EMU), but left to join the United States Marine Corps so that he could serve his country in the Korean War. Upon the completion of his military service, he returned to EMU to finish his degree in business administration, and after graduation, tried his hand at selling insurance.
Halle then joined a high school friend in a wholesale tire, battery and accessories business, and despite the fact that the business failed, he knew he had found his passion.
In 1960, he opened the first Discount Tire store in Ann Arbor, Mich., and has built his business one tire sale at a time. Discount Tire (Reinalt-Thomas Corp.) is now the largest independent tire company in the world with sales exceeding $4.2 billion. It has twice been voted Arizona’s Most Admired Company.
A generous philanthropist, Halle supports a variety of causes, including the Halle Heart Center, Special Olympics, Arizona State University (ASU) Cancer Center, Childhelp USA and more. He is a member of ASU's Dean’s Council of 100 and is an Entrepreneurial Fellow at the University of Arizona.
His foundation, the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation, supports organizations that address homelessness, hunger, health, medical research and education. Through the foundation, a scholarship program has been established that allows every child of a Discount Tire employee the opportunity to attend college.
Wanting to give back to his alama mater Eastern Michigan University, he made the largest individual gift ever received by the school. He has received numerous awards, including the American Academy of Achievement’s prestigious Golden Plate Award, Northwood University’s Outstanding Business Leader Award and ASU’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Earlier this year, he was named 2014 Tire Dealer of the Year by Modern Tire Dealer.
"The entrepreneurial spirit that is so instinctive in Mr. Halle is a hallmark of our membership," says Tony Novelly, Ceo and president of the Horatio Alger Association and 2000 Horatio Alger Award recipient. "We honor his determination and drive as much as we honor his professional success and philanthropic generosity."
With the addition of the Class of 2015, the association's membership grows to 706 exceptional leaders -- all with a commitment to philanthropy and higher education -- who have overcome significant personal challenges to achieve success. Other members include:
* Maya Angelou, author and professor;
* Billy Graham, evangelist, author and educator;
* Roy Carver, founder and chairman of Bandag Inc.;
* Presidents Herbert Hoover (31st), Dwight Eisenhower (34th), Gerald Ford (38th) and Ronald Reagan (40th);
* Ray Kroc, founder and chairman of McDonald's Corp.;
* Thurgood Marshall, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court;
* Wayne Gretzky, member of the Hockey Hall of Fame;
* Paul Harvey, commentator;
* T. Boone Pickens, chairman of BP Capital Management;
* Bob Hope, entertainer;
* Sam Walton, chairman and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.;
* Charles Pilliod Jr., former Ambassador to Mexico and chairman of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.;
* Buzz Aldrin, astronaut;
* Henry Kissinger, chairman of Kissinger Associates Inc. and the 56th U.S. Secretary of State;
* Colin Powell, U.S. Army (retired);
* Charles "Chuck" Yeager, U.S. Air Force brigadier general (retired);
* James Earl Jones, actor.
"I learned hard work from my father, who struggled through the Depression to support our family," says Halle. "His work ethic has always served as an inspiration to me and I believe that my success is rooted in his outstanding example.
"I look forward to helping the association perpetuate its mission of preserving the American Dream -- a dream that I have been lucky enough to live -- among its scholars."
In addition to honoring these outstanding leaders, the Horatio Alger Association also will recognize its 2015 National Scholarship recipients in April.
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is a nonprofit educational organization that honors the achievements of outstanding individuals and encourages youth to pursue their dreams through higher education. For more information, visit www.horatioalger.org.